InstaText automatically improves the clarity and style of a text. InstaText’s innovative technology edits and corrects content with simple, one-click suggestions selected from a corpus of 100 million documents based on statistical data. At Brilliantio, we’ve found it to be efficient and effective, improving our articles in seconds with just a few clicks. Because it is much more than simply a grammar checker, I thought it would be useful to give you a brief overview of the app and how it fits into the writing process.
How We Use InstaText at Brilliantio
On this website, we publish at least one, and usually two, long articles per day. The challenge for a small publisher is to maintain the quality and relevance of the various topics – storytelling, writing, filmmaking, social impact, community, and more – while being time-efficient.
Although we’re based in the UK, we’ve chosen to write all of our publications in US English. The reason for this is that Brilliantio’s audience is primarily US-based, although we have a large readership in many other countries as well. However, for us as native British speakers, writing in US English requires more effort and there’s a risk that our content will be misunderstood.
Although challenging, it’s worth it for us to edit and proofread our content in US English and add some cultural references where appropriate.
Accurate editing and proofreading before publication are essential to ensure that our readers enjoy the articles and stick with them and that Google finds the site valuable for ranking in the medium to long term.
You can’t afford to neglect editing and proofreading if your goal is to grow a website.
The Particular Challenges of Online Article Publishing
There are various challenges to publishing high-quality articles at speed and scale, as a small team. When it comes to the editing and proofing stages, these principally are:
1. correcting spelling, grammar, and syntax
2. ensuring that the style is consistent and conforms to standard U.S. English.
And to do both at a reasonable pace.
Until we came across InstaText, we used Grammarly Premium (and still do – we’ll get to that in a moment).
The Problem With Grammarly
The problem with using Grammarly in the main proofreading and correction phase – which is between writing the article and optimizing it for Google (in a process known as on-page SEO optimization) – is that it’s too slow.
Even if you accept multiple suggestions at the beginning of the Grammarly process, you still have to work through dozens or more additional suggestions on grammatical errors and typos before you can finally finalize the article and prepare it for optimization.
We found that using Grammarly to do the main spelling, grammar, and style corrections for each article took anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour – quite a burden considering all the other tasks involved in publishing with a small team: Topic research, article research, writing, optimizing, publishing, indexing, and more.
The InstaText Speed Advantage
With InstaText, we’ve found that we can correct and improve articles of 1,000 to 8,000 words to a high level of accuracy in just a few clicks. This takes us a minute or two at most.
Its online paraphrasing and textual correction power are impressive.
This is because InstaText – unlike Grammarly – allows you to correct 10,000 characters (about 1,400 words) at once with one click. You can then quickly copy the corrected text into our optimization tool (MarketMuse) and repeat the process for the rest of the text for longer articles.
Using InstaText in Combination With Dictation
This 1-click correction is especially impressive and useful when dealing with articles written by dictation.
At Brilliantio, we use VoiceIn and Dictanote as our dictation solutions. These apps are brilliant, but they leave texts that are fraught with problems.
However, the creation process is much faster and more enjoyable than typing all the time. You can even dictate directly into the InstaText editor – although personally, because we use AI writing assistant apps also, we don’t do it this way.
With InstaText, we can be sure that at the end of dictation, we won’t be faced with a mountain of corrections that will take hours to correct.
Instead, it’s a matter of a minute or two to correct thousands of words. Almost all grammar mistakes are gone, sentence structure is sorted out.
Putting Things Into American
InstaText’s Dialog Preferences are extremely useful.
For us, InstaText imprints a “casual US-style” on the text. This means that we achieve stylistic consistency very quickly.
Of course, this doesn’t work in 100 percent of cases. In an article, sentences that are actually styled correctly will sometimes be automatically corrected to a less-desirable variant.
However, the degree to which InstaText gets it right, and significantly improves not just spelling and grammar, but style also is astonishing. The speed at which it does so is a massive benefit.
For the tiny handful of remaining spelling/grammar issues that survive the manual review following InstaText, we use Grammarly Premium at the WordPress publishing stage. An alternative would be to feed the article back through InstaText.
The overall result is that articles that are automatically corrected by InstaText are much more readable than those on which we don’t use the tool.
InstaText vs Grammarly
As mentioned earlier, InstaText has some significant advantages over Grammarly Premium when it comes to correcting and improving text quickly and accurately.
Is it as fine-grained and comprehensive as Grammarly Premium? Probably not – mainly because Grammarly requires much more time-consuming manual intervention!
Effective Writing Is About Much More Than Technical Corrections
Effective writing requires articulating ideas on the page that engage the reader while staying true to your vision of what you want to convey. And that’s the key point when it comes to InstaText.
It’s a rephrasing tool that almost invariably improves nonfiction writing.
Ideally, you’ll have both apps, InstaText and Grammarly Premium. In my opinion, they both serve slightly different purposes and are essential for professional writing.
One of the main uses of Grammarly is to proofread text as you write it. That’s something InstaText doesn’t do. That’s one of the reasons we use both apps because it is useful to be able to very rapidly correct errors on the fly – especially short social media posts, for example.
How About WordTune?
We played around with WordTune for a bit before discarding it for our particular use case. It’s very good at suggesting alternatives and compressing and expanding text, even in different styles.
The problem we’ve found is that the app requires too much editing and proofreading at the stage when you’re actually writing; in our opinion, that’s not the right way to write articles and longer pieces of writing quickly and effectively.
We think it depends on what kind of writer you are.
Some writers like to take a lot of time to do first drafts before quickly going through the text a second time. If that applies to you, then WordTune might be a good alternative.
Personally, we prefer to quickly go through a first draft to quickly capture the inspiration and structure before taking a little more time for the second draft and proofreading.
Features That Make InstaText Stand Out From the Crowd
The founder of InstaText is an expert in machine learning and artificial intelligence, and it shows in the design and function of the app.
Broad Contextual Correction
Although a lot of testing would be needed to validate this idea, it seems that InstaText takes a broader look at the big piece of text and makes adjustments and suggestions accordingly.
To achieve clarity and impact in a text, it’s not enough to just tweak the wording sentence by sentence, but a good editor looks at the text in the context of the whole. This is exactly the ambitious goal InstaText pursues.
After using the app for several months, we feel that it’s close to achieving this goal.
Phrase-Length Personal Dictionary
Although we personally don’t use this feature, InstaText does have a personal dictionary that allows entries with multiple words. If we noticed that InstaText was incorrectly correcting a sentence across multiple articles, we’d probably start using the dictionary.
We find that at the pace we work, we mostly just rely on the autocorrections and adjust them manually later.
However, people who have personal preferences, or editing guidelines (as many freelance writers do when receiving content briefs) will find the feature a Godsend. Especially with technical glossaries – for example, to ensure that InstaText always puts ‘time series prediction’ instead of ‘time series forecasting’ throughout an article, paper, book, etc. Or across a series of works.
Intelligent Dialog Settings and Behavior
In our experience, the language settings in InstaText work really well. A dialect adjustment allows you to choose between UK or US, or auto. And a formality setting that allows informal, formal, or automatic style.
For writing articles on this site, we use US and informal. Especially when dictating articles, this seems to give the best result at a click.
As with all Artificial Intelligence writing aids and tools, you’ll only find the best settings for you and your particular use case through personal trial and error. In practice, however, this shouldn’t take too long. Two or three articles are enough to understand the possibilities and limitations of a particular tool. This also applies to InstaText.
Google Chrome Extension Coming
One of InstaText’s shortcomings is that there’s no Google Chrome extension yet. However, this feature will be available soon. We have been given access to the pre-release version and will include our thoughts on it here soon.
Write Like a Native Speaker
If you’re not a native speaker or write English, apps like InstaText are a real boon. They allow you to get the most important ideas on the page without having to worry too much about the accuracy and style of your writing.
In that sense, they’ve leveled the playing field for both non-native and native speakers when it comes to writing.
The Writing Process
I think it’s worth saying a word about the writing process when we talk about artificial intelligence tools and text correction.
I’ve already mentioned the general approach to first and second drafts: there are those who take a lot of time to write first drafts and then move very quickly to a second draft, and those like me who prefer to get the ideas down on paper very quickly and establish the overall structure of a piece before doing a more esthetically pleasing second draft.
Regardless of which approach you take, it’s very useful to have a tool like InstaText that can quickly correct basic errors, to the point where you can see the structure of a text very quickly.
This means that you can look through your text and figure out how to restructure or add to it, or, as is often the case, take things out to improve the entire text. In content writing for the Internet, an iterative writing process is almost a necessity.
Can InstaText Help Fiction Writers?
Our main use case for InstaText at Brilliantio is writing nonfiction. Although any text naturally contains the author’s voice and style, nonfiction is less prone to automatic grammar and style correction than fiction.
But that doesn’t mean InstaText is useless for fiction writers.
It’s especially useful in the rough outline and rough draft phase, where the key is to get the story down on paper before developing the detailed outline into a first draft.
Of course, this isn’t for all writers. Something like InstaText may be anathema for some, but for others, it can be a great boon to clearly see the development of the plot, characters, beats, etc in their work because of the level of clarity of text that the app can deliver.
If using it in this way, our advice would be to ensure non-destructive use: meaning that you keep the original version, and use the InstaText version to spot the plot holes, etc. You need to be careful not to lose your ‘voice’ in fiction writing.
The use of artificial intelligence in fiction isn’t without controversy, but you should know that some serious writers are using AI to support their work in various ways. This includes people who use apps like Sudowrite.
InstaText’s pricing structure is geared towards annual rather than monthly subscriptions. If you opt for the annual option, you end up paying more or less the same as Grammarly Premium for a year’s access: about $100 per year. There’s a 14-day trial that lets you fully test the app before you decide.
If you sign up here (our affiliate link) then you get a recurring 20 percent discount on the subscription.
While we understand that as a writer you’ve to be especially penny-wise when writing professionally, we think the time you save with InstaText more than justifies the price.
For example, I dictated almost the entire article here, knowing that we could now pass it on to InstaText to iron out a number of errors before publishing it!