(Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds, Shutterstock / Kaspars Grinvalds)

Instagram (Android, iOS) users will go to great lengths to increase their follower count. They'll follow and unfollow other users' accounts, put up more Stories, comment on posts from more popular users, and even invest in a pricier camera phone to take those eye-catching pictures.

Another surefire way to attract more followers is to put up posts or Stories filled with the most popular hashtags. A hashtag, composed of a tick mark (#) followed by a word associated with your post, helps other users searching for posts around a particular word more easily find your post. Of course, if more users come upon your post, you're more likely to get more likes and also more followers. So, although it might appear to be desperate attention-seeking behavior, it's in your favor to flood your posts with up to 30 hashtags.

Figuring out which ones to use used to require searching the most popular tags and then typing them in one by one to your post. The process, as you can imagine, was very time-consuming. With the Leetags (Android, iOS) app, which finds the most popular relevant hashtags to add to your posts for you, the process becomes far easier and faster.

SEE: Instagram Stories new 'Close Friends' lets you control who you share with

For first-timers, there's a great explainer on the homepage (or Search page) that directs you to start by typing some relevant words in the search box to drum up relevant hashtags. Then when your suggested tags appear in order of popularity, you're instructed to hit the Copy button. After that, just paste them into your Instagram post.

While you're typically presented with 45 keywords to choose from, only 30 are copyable, as that's the maximum number you may use in Instagram posts. The other 15, though, could be useful if some of the top 30 don't exactly apply and you want to drop some of those for some of the final 15.

If you'd rather go lighter on the tags, under options, you can change how many get selected as well as how many dots get placed above the hashtags when they're copied over. This bonus saves you the added step of having to add dot lines to your posts to push the hashtags down and out of view from your followers, which makes you appear a little less obvious about your hashtagging.

But what if you only want to post photos of things that are trending? If you'd prefer to go about this the other way and let the hashtags direct your posts, then tap the Categories tab to uncover which hashtags under a variety of topics are currently the most popular. You'll see everything from words that are getting the most attention in general to the most popular ones around such topics as Physical and Mental Activities, Animals, Nature, Seasons, Moods, Family, Drinks, Transports, Musical Genres, and Musical Instruments.

The great thing about Leetags is that even if you're not on Instagram, you can still find a use for it, since other apps like Twitter (Android, iOS), Facebook (Android, iOS), YouTube (Android, iOS), and Snapchat (Android, iOS) all incorporate hash-tagging functionality.

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  • Leetags' hashtag generator enables users to easily search and copy popular relevant hashtags to then paste in their Instagram posts.
  • Even if you're not on Instagram, Leetags' hashtags can be used on other social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat.

Also see

Instagram now lets you video chat with up to six people
How to use Instagram's new Nametag feature and find friends easier
Instagram reveals 4 updates that could fundamentally change how you use the app
Instagram improving accessibility for users with visual impairments (CNET)
Instagram predicts the flu. Who knew? AI knew, that's who. (ZDNet)
Instagram IGTV: 3 ways businesses can use the new service (TechRepublic)

Joshua is an editor for CNET's He covers the mobile tech and apps that power our lives and interviews celebrities about their favorite apps. Previously, he worked as an editor at Healthline and and as a contributing writer for Mac Directory, MacAddict, SF Weekly, SF Examiner, and SF Chronicle.