I’ve been looking for a workflow solution for managing Instagram accounts for years.
I have found it!
Why was it so difficult to find? I am not really sure. I’ve tried a few hacked together apps and tried to figure out a way to make magic happen, but alas, Instagram would not work. Apparently the answer that I kept running into was that they didn’t allow an API for app builders to do this. I’m not sure what all that means, and I’m not sure why this particular solution that I am going to lay out works… but it does.
First, why would you want this solution in your life? Well, if you have EVER tried to manage both a personal instagram account and an instagram account for a small business or ministry (or perhaps a fake instagram account for Tom McFarlin or Chris Ames) you would quickly realize that it was very difficult to switch between accounts. What other apps like twitter or facebook (gasp… yes even Facebook who paid 1 BILLION dollars for Instagram) did well with their apps, is allowed users to easily (or without too much pain) switch from one user to another.
But the official Instagram App? Nope. The only option on it is to log out from one account, then sign back in with another user.
But wait, that’s not all!
I’m confident that I’m not the only one who knows of the bug that would change your ‘share settings’ in the app. Even though you are now logged out of your personal account which had its own share settings, when you shared your business account’s picture, it would SHARE with your personal social media profiles like twitter and sometimes Facebook!
So not only would you have to log out of your instagram acocunt, you would have to remember to re-establish your share settings (even though they looked correct) and then you’d feel (somewhat more confident) about posting the picture and that it would share with all the correct accounts.
And then, you had to do that over and over if you wanted to maintain a presence on both accounts.
But you’re not hear for the soap-box session. You’ve come for the magic. Well, bear with me a little longer.
First you need to have Instapload. It is only available for apple devices at this point (as of 1/12/15) but they (I say they, because I can’t tell if it is a company or an individual owned app) say an android version is coming.
Don’t get caught up with the reviews on the app. These people who reviewed the app obviously have no idea what gold they have missed. I think they must be YouTube commenters when not reviewing apps.
You see the app clearly states what to expect!
- Multiple Account Upload
- Add Multiple Instagram Accounts
- Easy upload of multiple images to multiple Instagram accounts based on selection
Yes. The Interface is lacking. It isn’t as intuitive as some apps. But we’re looking for a solution… and this solution only costs us 99 cents!
OK. Enough. Let’s get that workflow working. Install the app, and you’ll see that you can add 5 separate Instagram accounts to the app. I assume that this was hardcoded for a reason by the developer and can probably be changed sometime in the future.
This is sufficient for me at the moment. I know that there are some folks who manage more than 5 Instagram accounts, but you’ll just have to figure out a way to make this work.
As stated above, you are not able to comment or like pictures from Instapload. The point of this app is to UPLOAD pics to multiple accounts. Do your liking and commenting on one of the MANY other options for managing Instagram comments and community.
You ARE able to see the latest pics in your 5 accounts’ feeds, and you are able to switch back and forth between feeds VERY easily.
Adding pictures is EASY in Instapload.
Click the + button in the top right to add a picture, Add a comment in the “Multi-tags” section (I don’t think this is what the developer intended, but I use this section for my Instagram Caption. It works) select which account you want to add the image to and then here’s where it gets a little tricky. Press the Upload Images button.
If you want to use your Personal Instagram Account… Select that account and upload.
If you want to use your Business Instagram Account… Select that account and upload.
If you want to use your Ministry’s Instagram Account… Select that account and upload!
I’m telling you. It works.
NOW, the IFTTT magic that I added to my workflow.
Do you know what IFTTT is? It stands for If This, Then That.
Up until now, I’ve been trying to use IFTTT to trigger something posting TO Instagram. Can’t be done. But, Now that I have my image added to Instagram, I want to share it with other platforms like Twitter or Facebook.
There’s a little extra work you need to do to make this work. Create an account. It’s free. Each account can be associated with individual accounts on a variety of platforms. BUT, you can only associate 1 platform with your IFTTT account. So, I created a Howard Brothers IFTTT account, and then I can add Twitter, Facebook pages, Google+ (still working on this, because Google+ has it’s own complexities and will require another post) LinkedIn, etc.
Then I created a few quick recipes on IFTTT. It’s fairly easy, you just select what your trigger does. I set it up so that If ANY new photo is uploaded by my Instagram account, it will trigger two separate recipes and activities. It will post that picture as a native picture (pulling the caption also) to twitter and will also upload that picture and use the caption on my Facebook Business Page.
This is far from done, but this is absolutely going to save me time and make me post more often to my Instagram accounts. IFTTT has MANY MORE options that you can choose from. If you want to only trigger an action if it has a specific hashtag, you can do that. You can create dozens of other actions and connect to MANY platforms. It is VERY powerful indeed. You can probably simplify your workflow in other areas as well.
Here’s my hope for Edgard Chammas, the developer of Instapload.
- PLEASE DON’T KILL OFF THIS APP! You have GOLD here. I fully expect Instagram to eventually figure this problem out on their own, and allow users to manage multiple accounts more easily, but until then, you’re gonna sell A LOT of 99cent apps of this thing if you can keep it up.
- Usability and design on your app is weak. I hope that there is someone who can step up and help you out with this, but even if that does not happen… you don’t need to change a single thing as far as I am concerned.
Edgard, I promise that I will be leaving you a positive review on your app, and I hope that everyone who uses this information will do so also. We all know how difficult it is to manage our multiple accounts. Give the app some review love and let’s talk it up to our own individual tribes.
(This blog post has not been edited for grammar or spelling. I wanted to get this out as soon as humanly possible)
UPDATE – 1/12/15 9:45PM
Hat Tip to Missy Purcell to letting me know that AS I WAS WRITING THIS POST… there was a version update to the app. Version 1.8 now offers:
- iphone 6 support
- improved interface (looking forward to seeing it… updating now)
- now you can add up to 8 accounts
- multiline captions!
- improved image quality
- added the ability to like images!
- App will now show image Caption!
Boom. Awesomesauce. Woot.