Finding a Desktop Workaround for Instagram

In a previous post, I introduced you to Instagram and ways that it could be used as a tool for your marketing. However, one unavoidable trait of Instagram is that it was designed as a mobile-based platform. This is because the app was intended to capture daily moments and post them. The downside of this is that cameras on phones often produce less-than-optimal photo quality.

So how does this affect businesses that want to use Instagram as a marketing tool?

In two ways:

1.)  It means that we need to get our photos to our mobile devices to upload.
2.)  It means that we need to find an efficient way to transfer high-quality images.

One way around this is to use one of several desktop applications that will upload selected photos from your desktop or notebook computer. However, the success and user interface of these are often less than desirable. And now, they are being fraught with another sort of problem.

Uploader, one such desktop app written by Caleb Benn, a California high school student, is getting a lot of attention. It is touted as one of the best and only ways to upload photos to Instagram from your desktop. Selling for US$4.99, it was making Benn in the range of US$1,000 per day. However, Instagram is not happy with this and has threatened legal action against Benn.

Other reports on Uploader and similar apps delve into another problem they have: these apps “break” hashtags.

As I discussed in a post at TraDove, the hashtag system is integral to content discovery on Instagram. When using these desktop apps, the hashtags will appear on the photos, but the photos will not always appear on the relevant hashtag feeds. Ultimately, this makes the posts relatively pointless if no one is able to see them.

I recently posed this problem to a group of professional bloggers, most of whom are eager to upload high quality photos to Instagram.

While several had their own workaround and unique solutions, Dropbox stood out as the most popular. Functioning as a storage cloud, Dropbox is an app for desktops and mobile devices that allows you to upload files from any linked device, and access them on any other device.

Preferring to select and edit the photos taken from their digital cameras rather than their phones, these bloggers would then upload to their Dropbox. They could then access any of these photos at any time in the future from their mobile devices, and upload through the Instagram app as normal.  This maintains the higher quality of their images and gaining the needed recognition from the hashtag system.

Those in the marketing sphere would do well to implement this method for our important pictures as well.


*An earlier version of this post was published on

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