Desktop Instagram Gramblr vs Blue Stack vs Hootsuite
Have you ever been annoyed that Instagram doesn't have a function to post photographs directly from your desktop? Join the club. It some sort of mis-guided decision to only allow mobile publishing, Instagram has unnecessarily burdened serious graphic designers, photographers and marketing companies with wasting time uploading images through mobile only. Ugh.
However, there is some small hope.
Currently, there are 3 primary solutions for uploading images from your desktop to your Instagram account. They are Gramblr, Blue Stacks and Hootsuite.
We have tested all three.
We like Gramblr even though there has been some reports back in 2013-2014 that some Gramblr users had their Instagram account banned and/or their images did not show up for related hashtags. We also researched what may have been causing the users to be "banned". It seems some users were using Gamblr as a spam tool. They were spamming the image descriptions with excessive hashtags. Additionally, Instagram explicitly says "You can't take or upload photos from your desktop computer."
That statement of course relates to their API agreement which says the following.
2) Use the Instagram APIs to spam, incentivize, or harass users
3) Participate in any "like", "share", "comment", or "follower" exchange programs. (Gramblr has a built in "like" sharing function.)
5) Attempt to cloak or conceal your identity or your application's identity when requesting authorization to use Instagram APIs.
Though, we do not know exactly how Gramblr works, they must be using the Instagram API and thus "cloaking" a users identity, at least their "platform" in some capacity to load images directly from a desktop to Instagram.
Given the above, we do not use Gramblr, even though we loved the simplicity and ease of use during the test.
That leaves Blue Stacks and Hootsuite.
Unfortunately, we tried Blue Stacks. Essentially, it runs Android on your desktop. Sounds cool, but it is HORRIBLE in our opinion. (It's so bad, we won't even give them a link!) When we installed the application, it added all sorts of spammy extra application to our computer. It also changed our default search engine, homepage, etc. It took about an hour to remove the unwanted programs and reset our default search engine and browser home page. Even after that, we tried to use the primary application and it did not work. It installed a slew of mobile games and unwanted apps within in its system and then wanted access to our Google account, which we granted. Something went wrong and the system never finished loading. Frustrated, we uninstalled the program completely and deleted it from our computer. In the end, the Bluestacks primary function seems to be to install spam on a users desktop. Users beware!
After BlueStacks, we tried the HootSuite Instagram plugin. Of course, you have to have a Hootsuite account to use the tool. The Hootsuite plugin does allow you to connect to your Instagram account and it will send an image to Instagram. However, unlike other social sites integrated with Hootsuite, the image is NOT actually published. Hootsuite sends the image to Instagram as scheduled, but then you get a notice from Instagram on your mobile device. After getting notified you have to use your mobile device to publish the image. The process is laborious and doesn't really save much time. Though, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye.
So, what's the best solution?
There isn't one. Though, Hootsuite does save a little time, a very little time.
While fact checking this article, we have found a couple other sites that claim to allow easy desktop uploading. They are: Schedugr.am, Latergram.me and something called FollowLiker. We have NOT tried any of the above solutions but looked at them briefly. Schedugr.am, Latergram.me both seem to require some kind of mobile integration / usage, so not truly desktop uploading and no easier than Hootsuite. Plus, they also are paid. (We are not apposed to paying for a value service like Hootsuite, but why pay for yet another variation of a partial solution?) FollowLiker calls itself a bot and its very name suggests a violation of the Instagram API. We did not try it.