While social media platforms are generally available in just about every shape and size, Instagram has never fallen into that category. It was an iOS exclusive when it first launched in 2010, before heading to Android in 2012, and despite climbing to incredible heights of popularity since, the social network doesn’t have an official app for Mac.
But while there’s no official Instagram for Mac app, there is a way to not only scroll through your Instagram feed on your Mac, but upload photos and videos too.
There may not be an official Instagram for Mac app - we’re still waiting for an iPad app! - but there is a way to access the popular social network from your Mac: Instagram Web.
The basic web app provides access to your main Instagram feed, allowing you to scroll, like and comment to your heart’s content, along with the ability to view Instagram Stories and, most recently, the ability to access Direct Messages.
These are all welcome additions, making Instagram Web a more viable way of accessing the site, but there’s still one huge omission: the ability to upload content directly from your Mac. It’s available on iOS and Android via the web app, so why not Mac? There’s no official explanation from the Facebook-owned company, but thankfully, there is a way to upload photos and videos to Instagram from your Mac - it just requires a bit of know-how.
How to upload photos and videos via Instagram Web
There is a way to upload photos and videos to your Instagram feed via the Instagram web interface, but you’ll first have to trick the site into thinking you’re on an iPhone. It’s entirely possible to do this on a Mac, although you’ll have to use Safari to do so.
To make Instagram think you’re using an iPhone, follow these steps:
- Open Safari on your Mac.
- Head to www.instagram.com
- On the toolbar, head to Safari > Preferences > Advanced.
- Select ‘Show Develop Menu in Menu Bar’ if it’s not already enabled.
- Then select the new Develop drop-down menu and select User Agent > Safari - iOS 12.1.3 - iPhone.
Once you’ve enabled the new User Agent, the Instagram website (via Safari, of course) should reload. Once reloaded, follow these instructions:
- Tap the + icon on the toolbar at the bottom of your Instagram feed - it’s in the same place as it is on the official iOS app.
- Browse for the image or video you’d like to upload to your feed, select it and click Choose to upload it.
- You can now go through Instagram’s suite of editing tools to tweak the appearance of your post. When you’re ready, hit Next.
- Add a caption to your post, select the social sharing options (if any) and hit Share to post the image.
It’s worth noting that while you can upload content to your main Instagram feed, you can’t post photos or videos to your Instagram Story via Instagram Web right now. Here’s hoping that the social network rolls out full functionality to the Instagram Web experience soon.
Third-party Instagram apps
While the company is slowly adding new functionality to the Instagram Web experience to match that of iOS and Android, it’s still not quite there. And, like with most things, if a company won’t do it then someone else will. There are currently a handful of third-party Instagram apps available for Mac, offering a mixed range of features at a variety of price points - just make sure the one you choose does everything you need it to.
Among the most popular third-party Instagram apps available on Mac is Flume, which presents your Instagram feed in a nice simple UI with swipe support and hidden menus, providing a cleaner experience than that of the native Instagram app.
The app also shows recent notifications, top photos and even profile recommendations based on who you follow and who you interact with. It also supports Instagram Direct, a feature only recently pushed to Instagram Web.
What makes Flume most impressive is the ability to upload photos, videos and mult-pic posts - something not offered by many alternatives. If you want to move the bulk of your content uploading to Mac, Flume is a solid option. The catch? Although free to download, you’ll only get a limited number of uploads before you have to upgrade to the $24 Flume Pro. If you’re interested, you can find Flume right here.
Uplet offers a much simpler approach than Flume, focusing only on the uploading of media to the site rather than browsing it, but there are features available that may interest power-users and businesses.
You see, while Flume lets you upload one post at a time, Uplet lets you drag-and-drop photos and videos and upload them in bulk to your feed. You can edit each photo and add individual captions too, although without the ability to stagger posting, you may end up spamming your followers. You’ve also got multi-account support, allowing you to easily switch between personal and business accounts without logging out.
While Uplet supports bulk uploads, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t actually support multi-photo posts, although the developers say that is in the works. And, much like Flume, it’s only free on a trial basis, although Uplet is cheaper at £9.99.