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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.