Social networks abounding on virtual market today offer huge variety of options, they maybe based purely on pictures’ sending or video editing, anonymous flirting or professional interests, yet first network dedicated to a particular activity except simple keeping in touch was Instagram. Creation of a photo-sharing service with supporting options of comments tweets and photo-editing was a truly genial idea, and it makes no surprise that today it is one of the most sought-after platforms with millions of active users. It may not yet hit the popularity notch Facebook has made, however, the chances are high it will. Thus more and more marketing people try to get a piece of this audience pie for their business promotion purposes.
Yet Instagram is indeed a very specific platform. It was supposed to work on the go and was developed to comply with functions of mobile devices, and not for PCs. All important activities are to be conducted through mobile apps, and marketing requires tools usually available on desktops. To register and upload images, one has to operate from a smartphone, and it is a very limiting condition for those who keep their marketing toolbox on PC – and running campaigns from PCs is normal working practice (marketing expert working from a tablet is not generating lots of trust, actually).
Hence, in order to make marketing gurus and the world of Instagram compatible, enthusiastic people have conceived three general approaches to harnessing Instagram from PC – or at least doing the necessary part of work on PC and then delivering finishing touches from mobile devices.
In this approach you half use your good old desktop, and half resort to a mobile device. There are two options to do it.
First way is to use Instagram as usually, just with help of a PC as an interchange facility. That is, you take a shot, download it to your desktop and edit it as necessary, because definitely desktop software and technical features do win over limited options of filters and shades of Instagram itself
When you achieve the desired results – colors, scale, text etc., you bring edited pictures back to your mobile device either right via synchronization (Google Drive, Dropbox or any other cloud storage will do), or manually through USB cable or SD card. Now find the edited photos and post them on Instagram from your gadget, as it is prescribed by Instagram’s philosophy. Add description and hashtags to your taste.
The second way is to employ the service called Latergram.me. This service provides you with opportunity to complete all tasks you need to perform about posting your picture right on your PC – but to post it you still have to take you smartphone and press a button to submit it. However, on your PC you edit, apply filters, add tags and what-s not, even plan the post to be added later. Then Latergram.metransfers your picture through their interface to youe phone, you see already prepared publication and press “submit”. This way is faster than previous, yet they both are conditioned by obligatory usage of your smartphone for one reason. Instagram allows creating numerous supporting apps related to the service through its API. Yet this API does not have the function of submitting a post, so third party services cannot post your picture instead of you. That’s it.
Circumvent approach, or Make-believe game
Manual transfer of pictures and API limitations are still annoying, especially when one looks for one-size-fits-all solution and aims to make the process as fast and smoothly flowing as possible. In this case it is worth looking at services in which everything is done through the service interface on your desktop. You prepare the photos to the best possible degree, and then log in to this service, and then the real fun begins.
You can select the service to your taste from the following list: Gramblr, Postso or ScheduGram.
The functions of these services are generally similar (interface and smaller features make difference, though). You have to access your Instagram account through the interface of a selected service, and the service will do everything instead of you, or rather on your behalf, as you empower it to do so. Convenient way, undoubtedly, however, due to this convenience you may face significant risks.
Point one – you disclose your account information to a third party you know nothing about except its trade name and website. If you value your account, it may stop you right at the beginning. If you opt for total security, then use more conservative methods of Instagram marketing.
Point two – strict rules of Instagram which get even stricter. The service has recently launched the whole campaign against such services asking for users’ data. Users, who were found to use Gramblr at least once, which belongs to the same class of tools, could not use hashtags on Instagram anymore. This kind of punishment was imposed on all users without exemptions, so think twice before venturing into the affaire of this kind. Sometimes slower procedure of uploading does not mean worse procedure. Thus be careful while reviewing these services.
Full Emulation or Keep-it-safe Method
Third way supposes that you will create full mobile device environment on your desktop and will simply switch between application and windows while editing your pictures and unloading them to Instagram. You will not share your account data with anyone and at the same time will show Instagram that you are working right from your smartphone. To emulate Android on PC as a virtual machine one can employ rather wide set of tools, for example Genymotion or Bluestacks.
Bluestacks is popular with mobile gamers and users who want to continue enjoying favorite apps on their desktops. Game testers and reviewers use emulation tools not for fun but for work, and marketing gurus do the same. All you have to do is install the emulation program and run it. Then from inside of the emulated Android find Instagram app and install it to this virtual Smartphone. Now you can log in and do everything you need right on your desktop safely and in full scale. Drawbacks of Bluestacks? Well, perhaps it lacks the feature of scheduling posts, yet this fact fades away in the light of opportunities and safety the program offers.