Last week, we learned about a new tool promising to facilitate publishing to Instagram from the web. We were skeptical, but excited about the potential. After all, this has been the Holy Grail many of us have been waiting for. The promise of managing multiple Instagram accounts with one desktop application—i.e. uploading, scheduling, and posting directly to Instagram from your computer—had us all in a frenzy.
The tool is called Instamate, and I have to say, it's fantastic.
The first thing you have to know about Instamate is that the sales page is a little ‘salesy.' In fact, it's a major reason I was skeptical. Also, much of the marketing is focused on helping you make money from Instagram, but that wasn't my focus, I just wanted to be able to use my computer, have immediate and simpler access to the desktop photo editing tools, and be able to manage a social account that's proven to be very important (both for IFB and our personal accounts as well).
We chose the “Luxury Edition” which gives access to scheduling functionality and several other tools. You can quickly search and view trending content, search for popular content by keyword or hashtag, and even use a pre-populated list of hashtags for popular niches (including fashion).
The tool also has tons of videos showing you how to get the most out of Instagram, how to use the tool, and how to gain the most followers using the tool in the fastest way. In the end, their strategy is really about easily and quickly creating, finding and resharing great content, and tagging it correctly to increase your likelihood of being discovered by the most people. And from what their social proof is showing, it works.
More than just posting
Beyond providing a quick and easy way to post pictures directly to Instagram from your computer, Instamate does a lot more. It's actually a full suite that allows you to manage your account, research trends, find free stock photography, edit images, overlay them with text, and schedule them for posting automatically whenever you like. It's a pretty incredible platform.
The built-in stock photography search tool lets you edit the photo, upload it to Instagram as-is, download it, or bookmark it for later. You can also comment on photos and see other people's comments and how many times the photo has been favorited.
It's is a really nice feature because sometimes you don't need a personal image to tell part of your story, and with their editing and text overlay features, it's very easy to make image quotes and post them in just minutes.
The tool is also great for identifying trends. You can look up trending topics on Twitter and Instagram to see what people are liking, which can help generate ideas for your own images. Plus, it pulls in currently popular hashtags from a number of niches (fashion included) and gives you some pre-vetted hashtags you may find useful based on the sub-category (above are just a few of the fashion-related hashtag collections).
There's even a Chrome browser extension that will help you save and upload images from the web without leaving the page (just make sure you have permission to use the photo, or that it isn't copyright restricted).
A full suite of tools, perfect for your Instagram account
There's a lot more that's included with Instamate that we didn't get into, including photo editing, a link-cloaking tool for hiding affiliate links, and in-app training. We tend to use our own tools for those functionalities, but you may find them useful.
All-in-all, we've been impressed with Instamate and enjoy using it a lot. It's made curation, posting, and scheduling a breeze. If you'd like to do more with your Instagram account, it's hard to beat. The package we got was a one-time payment of $47 and is backed by a solid refund policy. They want you to be successful, and they stand by their product.
Note: Our reviews and opinions are our own. Links to review products may contain affiliate links, yet we stand by all products we recommend.
[Photo by Volkan Olmez via Unsplash]