Instagram is a great app for iOS that allows you to take photos of your daily life, edit them with some funky filters and share them with your followers. Really, it’s Twitter for images.
Recently I came across Hong Kong based Instagramer, Tyson Wheatley (@twheat), who has a staggering 46,268 followers while following 454.
In order to gain some insights I asked Tyson a few questions on how he has become one of Southeast Asia’s most popular Instagram users.
How often do you post?
Daily, with an occasional short break. I just finished a self-imposed 48-hour break, which is probably the longest I’ve taken in a year.
How often do you go onto Instagram per day?
I typically check in three or four times a day. During my morning and evening commutes, and a quickie during my lunch break and again before I go to bed. Yeah, I’m pretty much an addict.
What do you use to take your photos?
An iPhone 4s.
Is there any technique for taking a great photo for Instagram?
There are probably many techniques worth exploring, none of which I’d claim at being an expert in. I try to pick subjects that are well lit and preferably not moving.
I think the key, for me at least, is the editing. Instagram comes with a really fantastic set of filters and the new “Lux” feature is great at enhancing lowlight images, but having a set of great photo editing apps can make a huge difference.
Instagram is square format, so obviously cropping and framing are important when taking photos. I usually take a lot of photos of the subject I’m shooting, using Camera+ or the standard iPhone camera. And I’ll try several different angles. Then I’ll play around with a variety of apps, sometimes combining them before posting only the very best edit to Instagram.
What are your go to apps to edit photos?
How many times have you appeared on the Popular board?
I’m not sure. I’m fortunate enough to have been added to IG’s “Suggested User” list, so a lot of my posts make it to the Popular board.
How did you get your first 100 followers?
My first followers were my friends and people who I was already connected with through other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
How did you grow your follower numbers after that?
Mainly through using the app, liking and commenting on other user’s photos. Leaving nice comments is probably the best thing you can do to grow followers.
A lot of people seem to beg you to follow them back. How do you determine who to follow back?
Well, asking for a follow is definitely not the way to go about it. The number of followers a user has isn’t necessarily the best indicator of talent. The real currency on IG is likes and comments. My advice for anyone new to IG is to leave nice comments on other user’s feeds. It’s also the best way to meet and discover new friends.
Is there anything about Instagram you’d like to see changed?
I’d like a longer news feed. And I thought the tilt-shift tool from a previous version was better than the current one. But overall, I think it’s an incredible platform.
Are there any other Instagramers in Southeast Asia to keep a look out for?
If you want to get an idea of what your iPhone can do take a look at my favourite three photos from Tyson’s stream.
Are you a fan of Instagram? What tips do you have for gaining more likes and comments?