Instagram is my new favorite social media platform. Over the past few months, I have been getting tired of Facebook and Twitter considering swearing off of them altogether. I had been introduced to the app while I was still living in NYC when it first came out but was using Hipstamatic at the time and figured I didn’t need another social media network, I could just share my photos via TwitPic. I also was using Best Camera to share iPhone pictures and I was liking the filters on that one better.
I started playing with Instagram one day and really liked how the feed worked. As a visual person, I could scroll through pictures of the people I was following. It was enjoyable to look at the pictures but wasn’t the incredible time-suck that I find Facebook and Twitter to be. I look for people who travel and take pictures of unusual things. As I stopped using Flickr, it was easy to find a plug-in to replace my Flickr images in my sidebar with my Instagram feed.
Instagram isn’t perfect. The filters are all retro-simulations (I’m a little over that) so all the photos have a similar look. I’d like to see them include some basic filters that just add a cool border and a lens vignette. It has some limitations, the main one being everything is in app and it’s only available for iPhone. This leaves a lot of people out. Fortunately, they are working on an Android version and some other players have moved in to provide some additional Instagram related services.
On the web, instagrid.com and followgram.me are offering free accounts for Instagram users to have a web gallery of their feed. I signed up for both but decided I liked what Followgram was doing better so that is the one I link to from my site. You can view pictures from a diary view (split up by days posted), list view and grid view. It also gives information about who I am and who I follow similar to the new Twitter. For those using RSS readers, there’s a button to get Instagram updates via RSS. Since it does connect to your Instagram account via api I’m hoping they will add functionality to like, comment and follow people. But of course, there’s also and app for that.
I was browsing the Apple App store and found InstaDesk for my Mac. Now I have computer access to everything Instagram. I can browse, follow, like and comment on photos. It shows the most popular photos, you can also look up photos based on tags and download the ones you like. You cannot upload photos but that is a limitation from the Instagram side. I believe Instagram will maintain the app only upload requirement. If Instagram really wants to push out into the mainstream they should acquire this app and/or make a web version because this is the missing Instagram link.
I picture is worth a thousand words but take much less time to read. I love looking at my feed to see what my friends are up to at to see pictures of places around the world. For a person who values the visual, Instagram is the perfect social media venue for me.
Follow me on Instagram: doncrossland.