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How to upload photos to Instagram on Windows, with Bluestacks, part 1 of 2

You’re reading the first post in a two-part series about uploading photos to Instagram from Windows, which goes against nature.

(If you’re on a Mac, full Instagram how-to over here, separate post.)

These posts go a little something like this:

  1. How to Install Bluestacks on Windows, and how to install Instagram on Bluestacks [you are here] 
  2. How to get Instagram to see your Windows file system and all photos you have saved there [to be published in 24 hours]

Let’s dig in:

1. Go to Bluestacks.com, choose + download the Windows package.

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2. Double-click the .exe, Windows will be all, “are you sure,” and you’ll be all “get outta my face.” Continue.

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3. Keep the defaults.

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4. Let it do its thing.

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5. After install, Bluestacks will start on its own, and then restart itself. You didn’t do anything wrong. Then it will start fullscreen. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can toggle that. 

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6. Click “Top 25 Apps,” then scroll down until you see Instagram. Click + launch Instagram (not installed yet).

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7. Now Bluestacks is “searching” for Instagram. There will be a bunch of results. Choose the first result in left-most column. (the 1mobile store, not that we care.)

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8. It will download and install with no more intervention from you.

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9. Click the “My Apps” icon. Look, there’s your (newly installed) Instagram! Hey girl.

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10. Launch Instagram. Yay, it exists. But dang, it’s sideways.image

11. But we can fix it. Click the settings icon, then “Change App Size.” Then toggle Instagram to “tablet.”

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12. It’s fixed. Login.

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13. Now we’re gonna change Instagram settings to look at the file system, not just use the camera. 

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wait

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for

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it. 

Boom. there you go. Uncheck “Use Instagram’s Advanced Camera.”

Now Instagram can look for files, which is why we’re all here.

The next post will cover how to get Instagram to see your Windows file system. Stay tuned. Post goes up in 24 hours.

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How to upload photos to Instagram from a Mac with Bluestacks, part 3 of 3

[If you’re looking for Windows Instagram hack instructions, start here.]

You’re reading the third post in a three-part series about uploading photos to Instagram from a Mac, which goes against nature.

This series goes a little something like this:

  1. How to Install Bluestacks on a Mac and install Instagram on Bluestacks [day one]
  2. How to get Instagram to see your Mac file system and photos you have saved there, method one [day two]
  3. How to get Instagram to see your Mac file system and photos you have saved there, using Dropbox [you are here]

I don’t want to ruin the suspense, but this post is 99% about Dropbox, which you’ve probably already heard of AND probably already use (even if you don’t use Dropbox, you likely use an extremely similar service like Box.net or Google Drive).

But this post is about looking at Dropbox in a way maybe you haven’t considered before.

Dropbox as a way to get photos from your desktop/laptop Mac, to Instagram.

Hi Dropbox. Hey girl. Hey.

Many agencies and organizations already use Dropbox internally, and this post is for them. If you don’t already use Dropbox, I’m not here to talk you into it.
Go back to yesterday’s post about getting photos right from the Mac files system. It will suit your needs.

But you’re here. I’m here. Let’s do this.

I’m assuming you’ve already installed Dropbox on your Mac. If not, you know where to go. Dropbox.com.

I’m not going to go step-by-step about how to install an on your Mac. Plus you’re reading this because you’re already using Dropbox. 

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1. Since you already have Dropbox installed on your Mac, let’s install it on Bluestacks, AKA, The Magic Fake Android on Your Mac. Go home, and click search. (You haven’t installed Bluestacks yet? Go to the beginning, then come back here.)

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2. Search for “dropbox” 

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3. Choose the first result, click Install.

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4. Now we have another results page. (gah! we just chose something, i know). Again, click the first option in the left-hand column, from the 1mobile store.

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5. Dropbox downloads and installs on its own. Let it do its thing.

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6. Close this leftover window that shouldn’t be here.

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7. Click home/ go to My Apps. Launch your newly-installed Dropbox app.

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8. Click next. (Note: welcome screens change a lot. Don’t trip if it doesn’t look exactly like this by the time you read this tutorial.)

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9. Login to your Dropbox account

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10. Click next to jump out of this photo offer thingy.

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11. Click skip to jump out of this photo offer thingy.

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12. Dropbox is installed in your phone. Click home and then launch your Instagram app in My Apps.

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13. Click the camera icon to take a picture.
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14. Choose the Photo Gallery option. (You see where this is going.)
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15. Well, well, well. Look what we have here, an option to use Dropbox! (Which is is linked what you have on your Mac, which lets you manage stuff on your Mac, which is the point of this post and series!).

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16. Click it. Browse the file system. Look, it’s the same file system that’s on your Mac’s (Dropbox folder).

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Boom. Dropbox is your boyfriend.

You’ve now abstracted the act of managing/preparing/editing photos, from the act of uploading them to Instagram.

Aaaaand scene.

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How to upload photos to Instagram from a Mac with Bluestacks, part 2 of 3

You’re currently reading the second post in a series about uploading photos to Instagram from from a Mac, which goes against nature.

[If you’re looking for Windows Instagram hack instructions, start here.]

This series goes a little something like this:

  1. How to Install Bluestacks on a Mac and install Instagram on Bluestacks  [day one]
  2. How to get Instagram to see your Mac file system and photos you have saved there, method one [you are here]
  3. How to get Instagram to see your Mac file system and photos you have saved there, method two

Previously, on Dexter this blog, you 1) installed Bluestacks on your Mac, 2) installed Instagram on your virtual Android device (powered by Bluestacks), and  3) configured Instagram to look at existing files, not just its camera. You did all this without any code or command-line messiness. But let’s not get it twisted. You do have a magical fake Android running on your Mac now.

The last step you did was uncheck Use Instagram’s Advanced Camera in Instagram’s settings.

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Now when you tell Instagram to take a picture, it knows to look for galleries of existing photos (good).

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But all it finds are random Android operating system assets, instead of the lovely photos on your Mac (bad).

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(NFI, either)

Let’s fix this situation. Let’s get Instagram see your Mac’s file system. There are multiple ways to do this, and this post is one of them.

1. We’re gonna install an app. So inside of Bluestacks, click home (if you’re not already there), then click the “search” icon.

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2. Next you’re gonna search for “es file manager.”

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3. A million overlapping, inter-related results, awesome! We’re gonna choose the first one. Click install.

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4. Aaaaand now we’re at a second results screen (?!).
Just go with it.
As we did with the Instagram install, we’re gonna use the 1mobile market in the left-hand column, choose the first result for the ES File Explorer app

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5. After we click it, ES File Explorer File Manager downloads and installs.

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6. Inexplicably, this old search results window is hanging out here now. Close it.

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7. We’re going to My Apps now (with a click). Here we see the Instagram app we installed earlier, and our new ES File Explorer app.
Click/launch the Instagram app.

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8. We’re back in the Instagram app. Let’s “take a picture” by clicking the photo icon.

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9. When Instagram asks, rather than use the Camera option, let’s choose Photo Gallery.

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10. Well, well, well. What do we have here? A new option! Let’s choose ES File Explorer.

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11. Yikes! A file system! But don’t be scared. Choose “bstfolder,” it’s the magic door to your Mac.

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12. OK. Now those to folders look familiar “Documents”… “Pictures.” That’s because they’re YOUR Documents and Pictures folders on your Mac. For real.

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13. Make sure you’ve copied the photos you want to upload to either your Documents or Pictures folder on your Mac (for this method). In this example, I’ve copied them to my Documents folder. So Instagram and Bluestacks is seeing the exact same folder that’s on my Mac.

See? Same: same.

Exact same Mac file system is visible on Bluestacks (and therefore to Instagram). #magic

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14. I’m gonna choose the lil birdie pic on the left.

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BOOM.

Bluestacks is your boyfriend.

I’ll leave you two alone. You’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

PS- You already have everything you need to view your Mac’s file system from Instagram. But if you/your agency/organization uses Dropbox, you may want to check out part 3- another hack to get from Mac to Instagram.

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How to upload photos to Instagram from a Mac with Bluestacks, part 1 of 3

You’re reading the first post in a three-part series about uploading photos to Instagram from a Mac, which goes against nature.

[If you’re looking for Windows Instagram hack instructions, start here.]

Here’s what’s up. You can move photos from your Mac to Instagram. Using  software called, “Bluestacks.”

Now is neither the time nor place to tell you why you’d want to do this. There are two types of people in this world. Those of us who have been searching for this  are silently nodding to each other, and others are like, “But…? why…? it’s…?”

We do not want to take away your happiness. We should all be so lucky as to be happily managing one Instagram account from our phone with only a built-in camera.

Until today’s Bluestacks update, this hack was waaaaaay more annoying, and I didn’t blog it here coz you pretty much had to be a Linux system administrator. But now it’s relatively easy.

Here’s how it’s gonna play out: There are gonna be three blog posts, this is the first one.

  1. How to Install Bluestacks on a Mac and install Instagram on Bluestacks [you are here, now]
  2. How to get Instagram to see your Mac file system and photos you have saved there, method one
  3. How to get Instagram to see your Mac file system and photos you have saved there, method two

Now let’s get started.

Basically you’re gonna install a fake lil Android on your Mac. It’s an emulator. It’s similar to when you’ve run Windows on your Mac using VMware Fusion or Parallels or VirtualBox. (If you don’t know what that is, forgetaboutit. Short version: Fake Android. On top of Mac. Like an App. Boom)

The company who makes this Android emulator software is called “Bluestacks.”

1. Go to Bluestacks.com, download the Mac package.

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2. Double-click the .dmg file. Nothing new to see here. You’ve done this a million times before, right?

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3. Drag the Bluestacks icon to your Applications folder. You’ve done this before. Same as many other app installs on a Mac. Look at you go.

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4. Bluestacks installed! Let’s launch it by clicking. (Maybe you’ve even dragged it to your dock for convenience? I don’t want to backseat drive or anything.) Anyways, it’s launched. It’s a cute lil (fake) Android start-up screen.

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5. What the heck is going on? Yep, it’s a messy start screen. Focus.
You’re seeing a “Top 25 Apps” screen. Scroll down. Instagram is waiting for you.

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6. You see an Instagram app icon. It’s not installed yet. Click it. Now it’s searching FOUR (?!) APP STORES FOR YOU (idk either. ah, Android, your Linux is showing). Choose the Instagram icon in the left-hand column with the “1.” You’re gonna click it and it’s gonna install from the 1Mobile Market (just go with it.)

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7. It’s installing Instagram. [note: for a part of 12/28 and 12/27, the store app itself needed to be updated for this to work properly. If you get a weird message about an “installation recipe,” you probably tried this before 2PM Pacific on Dec 28th 2012. Give the service (1Mobile always running on this version of Android) a second to breathe, or restart Bluestacks which may speed things along, and try this step again.] 

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8. Boom. It’s installed.

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8. Click it. Launch it. Oops. It’s sideways. Forgive it.

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9. Let’s fix it. Click the settings icon, and then “Change App Size.” Change Instagram from “Default” to “Tablet.” (I know, not optimal. But the best option for now.)

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10. Restart Bluestacks.

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11. Guess which app is rightside-up, now? Work it, own it.

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12. Now we have to tell Instagram to not exclusively use its (virtual) camera, but instead consider “local” existing photos. Go into Instagram’s settings, uncheck “use Instagram’s Advanced Camera.”

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OK, now Instagram is able to look at a local “gallery” instead of just new stuff from the camera.

You’ve done a lot today. Stay tuned. In less than 24 hours, part two will be up.

Head on over to part 2: getting Instagram to see your local Mac’s file system, and all your awesome, existing photos.

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Let’s talk about using Instagram on desktops and laptops

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[Update, December 28th, 2012. If you’re trying to get this working on a Mac, stop reading this post!. Go over to this new post. Bluestacks has been updated for the Mac.]

[Update, January 7th, 2013: New Windows instructions here.]

At this point in time, Instagram’s perceived value and rightful place in brand management’s social media arsenal is secure. I’m not gonna get into its compelling story in this post.

That said, Instagram’s current mobile-centric workflow introduces some pain points for marketers. At the time of this writing, you can interact with Instagram on the web, but only to comment, Like, and follow folks. You cannot upload/add new photos through the Instagram’s web interface.

Enter this hack.

As I tweeted this morning, you can run Instagram from a desktop computer, it just takes a little bit of (one time) set up.

The short version is that you’re running an Android emulator, Bluestacks. Though it is available for both Windows and Mac OS X, the Mac version is still in alpha, and involves more hacking. I won’t be covering Mac specifics in this post, but the basic concept applies there, too.).

[Update, December 28th, 2012. If you’re trying to get this working on a Mac, stop reading this post!. Go over to this new post. Bluestacks has been updated for the Mac.]

 Bluestacks is not the only Android emulator out there, but it’s by far the easiest one I’ve seen. Some app installs are as easy as double-clicking an icon. Unfortunately, Instagram has some system requirements that preclude it from getting installed that way. It’s not hard to install, just a little confusing if your brain isn’t already trained to think that way. (You get redirected to a web page with a link to a package… that you just have to click to install.)

By far the coolest/most immediate value of having Instagram on your desktop computer is that you can move a bunch of photos that you captured/edited outside of your phone, to Instagram.

It really works. Some folks have had trouble with this. (I’ve left North’s reblog intact- they link to somebody who had trouble.) But it’s worked for me.

If you’ve been dying to get a bunch of assets into your Instagram, I recommend checking it out.

If you wanna hear more crazy social media workarounds, you should follow me on Twitter. I’m @bluechoochoo.

And of course… tell me about any Instagram workflows you’re proud of.

northlab:

Thank you Andrea Lopez for the the tip this morning.

http://ezseonews.com/ says:

As a marketer, the built in tools are a little limited.  You can apply a filter to your image, but for better results you might like to edit the image on your PC or Mac first.  The problem then becomes how do you transfer it from your computer to Instagram. 

If you have a PC, there is a beta product that can help.  It’s an Android emulator for the PC.  You install it, then browse the Android marketplace for any apps you want to run, right there on your PC.  You can install Instagram and then directly upload photos from your PC to Instagram – at least in theory.