Instagram guide: make the most of Instagram online

Instagram guide: make the most of Instagram online

In this eighth episode of our Instagram special I’m going to show you how to make the best possible online profile on the social network from your PC. I’m also going to present two services from third parties which will really help you take full advantage of Instagram. The instagram.com site is a valuable addition to the app, because it allows you to manage your social activities much more easily than from your smartphone, letting you mold your image as a social photographer.

One of the features of the new generations of digital artist is that much of your work is done away from the desk. And so you’ll find that the best way to take care of yourself and your colorful tribe of Instagrammers is to do so from the web. So here’s what instagram.com allows you to do, perhaps with a little help from some extra services.

A better way to Instagram

The Instagram app is really intelligently organized, and it works pretty well. As well as taking photos and applying filters and tags, you can also manage your network of contacts. But the ideal place to view your friends’ shots, add comments and like, repost pictures and generally keep in touch with your Instagram network is online. The organization of the home page is almost identical to that of the app, but seeing the pictures in a reasonable size is obviously quite different. If your contacts publish images that are particularly beautiful and well executed, it’s nice to enjoy them at a suitable scale.

instagram.com home

The button with the three dots in the lower right corner of each shot is used to report a photo as inappropriate, or to look at it in its original size. We recommend that you use the latter option every time you want to see a shot properly. To add a like, you can double click on the photo (this doesn’t work with videos: instead, you have to use the button in the shape of a heart), and adding comments when you’re on a PC is much more practical than on a smartphone.

If you’ve decided to take your public relations on the photo social network seriously, then the computer is definitely the ideal way to do it. Even the page on your personal profile is beautiful and functional, with thumbnails of all your photos in reverse chronological order and a header made ​​up of 7 shots taken from your library in a random rotation.

An Instagram profile

Profile and privacy

Under Your Account, you can do several things. Edit Profile: you can enter or edit your name, the email linked to the account, username, phone number, and you can add to or edit your bio. You can also add the URL of your personal website. Change Password: you can change your Instagram password here. Manage Applications: this section is particularly interesting, because it lets you revoke permissions to any apps you’ve allowed to access your Instagram data.

Applications you've authorized

In episode number 2 of our series we discussed managing your privacy in detail. From here you can control another important aspect – Badges. These are used to get the code to insert a badge that directs people to your Instagram account from your website or blog. You can also create a personalized badge by downloading the camera icon.

Two excellent 3rd party services

The Webstagram feed

Webstagram: If instagram.com doesn’t quite satisfy you, you can also use Webstagram, a viewer that also allows a variety of operations, including viewing shots in three different formats (Thumb, Mid, and Large) and reposting of photos and comments via Facebook accounts. This service also provides you with an RSS feed, a good search engine for finding users and hashtags and a statistics section with commonly-used filters, the most popular hashtags and instagrammers with the most followers. These are just a few of the services offered by Webstagram. Among the others there’s one with which you can easily add your own Instagram image gallery to your blog or your website. It’s an excellent tool for professionals and enthusiasts who take their shots seriously, and who want to have total control of their profile.

Webstagram - Instagram gallery code

Statigram: If you’re obsessed with statistics, Statigram offers a set of tools which let you take the pulse of your success on the Instagram network, and to get a detailed picture of what you post.Statigram 1

It provides information on the filters and hashtags you use most, the popularity of your photos, the engagement they generate among your followers, the number of likes and comments you receive, the growth in the number of followers, the distribution over the month of what you posted, the density by day of week…and plenty more!Statigram 2 If you decided to use Instagram to promote yourself or your business, Statigram is a powerful tool that helps you understand if you’re on the right track, and a great ally to plan exactly what and how to post.

And now…get to work!

And so we’ve arrived at the final installment of our guide. If you followed our advice, you’ll now have a few tricks for taking interesting shots, you’ll know how to set the privacy of your profile, repost photos from other users, how to create and manage your videos, how Instagram Direct works, for attracting new followers and how to import photos from your computer on to the app.

In short, Instagram has no more secrets for you. You have all the tools you need to become a instagrammer with a solid identity. Whether you do it for business or pleasure, you can create a far-reaching social network, finding people with whom you share your passions and discover new ones in time. And above all, you can paint your world with whatever filter you want!

Thank you and good night…or should that be good light?!

"Under African skies" on Instagram

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