Instagram is possibly the most popular social network not available for computer. It started as an iPhone app that allows users to share photos via the Instagram platform as well as through their social media (Facebook and Twitter). Users can use cool, fun and funky filters to add a level of ambiance to their snapshots. Instagram was developed that way to mimic the way your brain captures memories; and since you can’t borrow memories from your desktop computer, Instagram was developed to be exclusive to mobile devices.
With the recent addition of an Android enabled Instagram application the popularity of the network has skyrocketed. “Since the launch of its Android app, Instagram’s user base grew from 30 to 40 million. That’s over 1,000,000 new users a day”, says TechCrunch’s Matt Burns. Marketers are incorporating Instagram into business, and more and more people are wanting to know “How can I use Instagram on a Computer”
Run the Instagram Program on PC
Updated 8/15/2012: A recently developed application called the Blue Stacks App Player will let you use Instagram or any other Android application on a PC. They just finished a version for the Mac.
You can use these other great websites in conjunction with Instagram to get a better experience, or in place of Instagram to view other people’s profiles and photos without joining Instagram yourself:
If you want more followers on Instagram, Followgram is the way to go. With this program, you can create a button that lets people follow you right from the Web. You can place this on your website, blog or other online profiles. So anyone who meets you from some other network can then also follow you on Instagram. This makes it much easier to find people and to help them find you.
- Vanity URL web address
- Share to non-Instagram users online
- Get more followers
This service allows you to access all of your Instagram photos online, in a gallery-type fashion. You can view yoru collection as a grid (like a portfolio) or like a blog. You can also create a perma-link for your gallery (instagrid.me/username) and share it with others.
- Create a gallery based on a hastag
- Share with people not using Instagram
- Create an online space with all of your Instagram photos
This one is my favorite. It allows you to do the most with your computer and your Instagram photos. You can comment, like and send messages to Instagram contacts. The only thing you cannot do is upload photos from your PC. Otherwise, you can use your web browser to manage nearly everything in your Instagram account.
- Viewer – view your feed, pictures, likes, followers and Instagram popular posts
- Browse, like and comment on photos
- Share your pics via a public web address
Webstagram is an option for web viewing of your Instagram photos. If you want to see your photos, share your photos, like and comment, follow and unfollow other users and more, you can do it all from Webstagram. It’s very similar to Staigram.
This one allows you to:
- View photos of the people you follow
- Like and Comment on photos
- Follow and Unfollow other users
- See your followers and following
- Browse popular photos / tags / users
- Get your RSS feeds
While I really like Webstagram, too, I find that more people seem to be using Statigram.
All of these programs are management tools for your Instagram app. Ultimately, you are still required to have the app on your Andriod mobile or iPhone device in order to take photos using Instagram and share them via these sites.
So how do you use Instagram on your computer
The closest you can get right now to Instagram on your computer is Instagrille. This is a crisp, clean, well-designed desktop app from Pokki. I feel confident Instagram itself could not have created a better version of this desktop app for Instagram. Instagrille was developed as part of the SweetLabs Pokki app challenge. It won third place a $7,000 prize in the contest.
You must have an Instagram account already to use it as it will ask you to log in with your account after you sign up and install the app. This app basically lets you do everything your Instagram account does, except upload photos from your desktop.
Instagrille is currently compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8, with a version for Mac coming soon.
Web-Based Alternatives to Instagram Filters
What do you do if you don’t have an iPhone or Android phone to download the Instagram app If you just like the cool look of the Instagram filters, there are some other options that you can use right on your computer. This is also an option if you want to use photos that are on your computer’s hard drive and get the ‘Instagram look’.
While it is not possible to use Instgram from your computer, there are some web-based alternatives that still allow you that Instagram-ish feel to your photos. Check out:
- And more!
What is your favorite web-based photo editing software or app Do you use Instagram on your computer with any of these apps/programs mentioned above
Lisa Clark is a Social Media Consultant and writer with more than 12 years experience. She helps brands connect with their target audience online. You can see Lisa's work at Social Media Satisfied and book your own special media solutions, or contact her on Twitter corel portable
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Video: How to Post to Instagram From Your Computer
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How To Upload Photos to Instagram from Your Desktop .
Instagram is first and foremost designed as a mobile app. You're really supposed to upload from your phone, using photos you took on the phone, and in real-time (or at least, non-automated).
But that doesn't work for everyone. Maybe you like to edit your photos in something like Lightroom first. Maybe you want to upload photos or video taken on a camera that's not your phone. Or maybe you just don't like typing long captions on your phone and would prefer to use a real keyboard.
Sure, you can email the photos from your computer to your phone, save them on your phone, and then upload through the Instagram app. But that's pretty cumbersome and tedious. You can also use something like Hootsuite to schedule your Instagram posts, but their approach really only gets you halfway there and doesn't bypass the need to use your phone to do the actual posting--it's more like a reminder service. Buffer and Sendible tackle it basically the same way.
But other options do exist that might work better for some Instagram users, whether you're using it for social media marketing or sharing photos privately with friends and family.
Here are several other ways to post from your PC directly to Instagram without needing to use your phone. They include third-party apps and browser tricks. Some are free; some are paid. Some work on both Mac and Windows; some work on only one or the other. Each app or service and hack works a bit differently, and each has its own pros and cons.Two things to note. Firstly, Instagram very strongly encourages users to upload images from their mobile devices, and it's not unheard of for accounts to be flagged or even closed when uploading from other sources, especially when it involves multiple images. So if you choose to use a third-party app to upload to Instagram, it's worth doing so with some caution.
Secondly, to interact with Instagram and post on your account, some of these apps and services require your login details. Unless otherwise noted, I have used the apps and services listed here and haven't come across any adverse consequences, but you should still be cautious before handing over login details to third-party services. The safest options are ones like the user-agent spoofing method where you don't hand over your login details to third-parties.
Via a Web Browser
Normally, when you open the Instagram site in your desktop's web browser you get a stripped-down version of the site. It allows you to do some things like comment on photos, but it doesn't include a way to create new posts.
Several newer browsers have a function that can be used to make the Instagram site think you're accessing it with a mobile device so that the posting feature becomes available. It's called user agent spoofing, and I've put together a detailed guide on how to use user agent spoofing with Instagram with major browsers.
Advantages of this method are that it's free and doesn't require installing a third-party app or plugin. But there are also disadvantages--not all Instagram features are available through the website. Examples of features that aren't available with this method are filters, in-photo tagging, and multi-photo posts. It doesn't include scheduling functions. And while it's pretty straightforward to do, it's still not as simple as a third-party app like Uplet.
Flume for Mac
Flume is full-featured Instagram client. It's only available on Mac. There's a free version with the basic features, but if you want to upload photos or videos directly from your computer or manage multiple accounts you'll need to do a paid upgrade to Flume Pro.
It has a slick Mac-style interface with quite a bit of flexibility in its display. It supports multi-image carousel posts, includes filters (when using the Pro version), lets you manage activity on your account, and manage your profile. It doesn't include scheduling.
Uplet is one of the simplest options if you're using a Mac. It's a third-party paid app available at the Mac App Store.
It's very simple, but it gets the job done. I've found it to be lightweight, easy to use, and to work as advertised.
Its core is a drop panel. Simply drop the photo files onto it, fill out the caption info, and hit send. You can upload multiple photos or videos at once (each posts as a single post). It doesn't have any filters or advanced editing features, but that simplicity is a big part of its appeal. One feature that has been recently added, though, is the ability to work with multiple Instagram accounts and toggle between them.
So if you're on a Mac and looking for something straightforward, it's well worth a look.
I've put together a more detailed guide on using Uplet to post to Instagram that includes more screenshots.
GramblrI no longer use or recommend Gramblr. While I never encountered any unwanted behavior, too many other people have reported problems. I'm leaving it here as an option, but use it at your own risk.
Gramblr takes a quite different approach. It's more complicated, but it also offers a lot more features. There are versions for Mac and Windows and is free for the basic functionality.
There are two parts to it, an app that you install on your computer and a web service. They work together in getting your photos from your desktop to posting on Instagram.
The desktop app part of it is a utility app that really just runs in the background. Once you've installed it, you open it to launch the main Gramblr screen and then it just quietly takes care of things behind the scenes. All your main interactions are with the web service.
There's also a full suite of image editing tools like exposure controls and sharpening. There are also features like filters, frames, stickers, adding text overlays, and redeye correction. It also offers scheduling.
I've put together a more detailed guide to using Gramblr to post to Instagram. It also includes more screenshots.
You can find Gramblr here.
This is a desktop app for interacting with Instagram. There are versions for PC and Mac.
The reason I say "interacting" is that there are two versions that allow different things, although that's not as clear as it could be in the app's documentation.
The free version acts as an Instagram viewer, so you can do things like view images, add comments, and like images. To actually upload images or videos and tag them you'll need to upgrade to the Pro version for $2.99 a month. (Video upload is not available in the Windows version.)
It's straightforward enough to use. The screen looks like the older version of the Instagram mobile app and works basically the same way—it's essentially an emulator without needing to install a separate emulator host. It doesn't have scheduling or batch uploading options.
You can download it here: PC | Mac.
LR/Instagram is a new option for Lightroom users. It's a plugin that enables a Publish Service linked to your Instagram account.
If you're already using Lightroom, it's very convenient to be able to post directly without the need to export the files and upload them as a separate process. You can crop and add padding with Lightroom's normal editing tools, and there's no need to open a web browser or other app. You can also add a caption and hashtags from within Lightroom. It doesn't allow some of the other synchronization options that publish services typically offer--you can't edit the photo or caption and republish it, for example. You don't have access to Instagram's built-in features (although you can, of course, use the much more powerful filter options in Lightroom), and there's no scheduling functionality.
It's shareware, with a $10 licensing fee, and you can download it here. I also have a detailed write-up on LR/Instagram.
Here are some other alternatives that are available but that I've found less useful for one reason or another.
Instagram on PC via Bluestacks: Bluestacks is an Android mobile emulator that runs on your computer. You can then install and run mobile apps inside it, including the Instagram app. I couldn't get this to work properly on Mac, but your mileage might vary.
Instagram from Computer: This is a Chrome browser extension. I haven't tried it and can't vouch for it. It appears that this extension is no longer available Cstrike 1.6
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