Instagram web: how to use Instagram from the computer?
Whether through posts on the wall, Stories or the new Instagram TV, Instagram has carved out a niche for marketers.
If you usually work from your computer, it may be more useful to use Instagram web , but you may not be very clear on how to do it or if you can do the same things as from the mobile version. Therefore, in this article we explain the secrets of Instagram web.
Instagram web and app: similarities and differences
When Instagram is launched in October 2010, it only had a mobile version. It was a social network that was designed to portray your daily life, apply different filters to the photos and upload them, so surely its creators thought that it did not make much sense to create a web version.
This changed in November 2012, when the instagram.com domain was launched and allowed anyone to view user feeds from the computer. However, this version had many limitations: you could not use the search bar or view a feed of posts from several users.
Little by little, the web version was gone enriching with new functionalities, but it has always remained in the background with respect to the application. Today, this is what you can and cannot do with Instagram web.
What can be done on Instagram web
Log in with your regular Instagram user account and see your news feed, Stories and notifications.
Interact with the publications and Stories of other users.
Pause the videos . This functionality is only present in the web version; on mobile, when we touch on a video, all we can do is activate or stop the sound.
Send direct messages (since early 2020).
See live broadcasts . For a long time, this feature was exclusive to the mobile version of Instagram. But since last month, Instagram web users can already see the direct from their computer. In fact, many users prefer this option, since obviously the videos can be seen larger and also the comments appear on the side of the video, instead of overlapping.
If you are very overwhelmed, you need to disconnect and want to cancel your account for a season, but without deleting it, this can be done from the web version. You will temporarily deactivate your account and it will be activated automatically when you log in again with your access and password.
Publish videos of 1 minute to 60 minutes on Instagram TV , allowing the first minute of the video to be published in your feed automatically.
What can’t be done on Instagram web
Publish photos and videos (up to 1 minute) in the feed or stories directly . If you do marketing on Instagram, surely you would love to be able to manage this network directly from your computer. But in principle, the functionality of uploading publications is limited to the mobile version.
Using Instagram Shopping. Instagram web does not support Shopping, so images with tagged products appear without these tags.
Without the option to post photos and videos, it seems that marketers do not we have no choice but to turn to mobile to upload content … but wait! There is a shortcut to being able to use full-featured Instagram web . In the next section we will explain it to you.
How to use Instagram web from your computer
Login and browse
If you just want to consult a public Instagram profile in your browser, you just have to enter the URL of that profile, for example, https://www.instagram.com/ jaimealtozano /
But in order to use the rest of the functions of your account, logically the first step is log in . To do this, enter your username and password at www.instagram.com
Once you do, you will find the Instagram feed that you already know, but in an expanded version. The information is displayed in two columns, with a toolbar at the top.
The main column on the left is the site where posts are displayed from your feed . You can scroll to see what’s new, click to see several photos in a gallery, watch videos (with the pause function we discussed earlier), “like” a post, or add your comments. Basically, you can see everything you could see in the mobile application.
You can use the Browse button to browse the most popular posts of the moment or the heart icon to see your notifications.
In the right column you will find the Stories section. If you click on a user’s profile, you will see their Story. Instagram plays the next Story automatically, but you can also click on the right side of a Story to switch to the next. As you can see, the functionality is very similar to the version of the application.
To watch an Instagram Live video, just click on the “Live” tag next to the story in question.
Send direct messages
As we mentioned before, for a few months Instagram web has also allowed you to use the direct messages version, although with some limitations:
- What you can do : create new groups, send stickers and share photos from your computer.
- What you cannot do : send ephemeral messages or GIFs.
To use direct messages from Instagram web , follow these steps :
- Open Instagram web in your browser and click on the direct messages button.
- You will see an interface with two panels. You can click on a conversation to start sending messages there or press the New Message button to create a thread or group from scratch.
- In the pop-up window that will appear, type the name of the account or the person you want to send the message to. If you want to create a group, select multiple users. Then click “Next” to start the conversation.
- You can also click the direct message icon from any post to send it to a conversation (same as in the mobile app).
Post videos on Instagram TV
If you have incorporated Instagram TV into your marketing strategy, you should know that you can post your IGTV videos directly from the web .
This functionality allows you to upload much longer videos than usual on Instagram, up to 60 minutes long. The option to upload them directly from Instagram web avoids having to send large files to mobile phones. Let’s see how it is done step by step:
- Log in to www.instagram.com as explained before.
- Click on the Instagram TV option.
- Click the “upload” button.
- Click the “+” icon and choose the video you want to upload from your computer. You can also drag and drop the file.
- Add a suitable title and description for your video content. Remember that you can share a preview of the video on your feed and your Instagram profile, or on your brand’s Facebook page.
- Click “Publish” and … voila!
TIP: Publish photos and Stories on Instagram web
Finally, we are going to see the definitive trick that allows you to use Instagram web with all the functionalities of the mobile application, including publishing photos and videos .
The basis is very simple: it is about “convincing” Instagram that you are actually browsing from a mobile phone. To do this, you have to change what is known as the user agent or “user agent” of your browser. It sounds complicated, but it really only takes a few clicks. This option is available in all major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari. To see detailed instructions, I recommend that you search for “change user agent” + the name of the browser you are using .
Once you have changed the user agent, the tab on the that you find (in this case, the Instagram one) will be changed to mobile design. If this doesn’t happen, refresh the page to see the changes.
If you prefer a more permanent solution so as not to continually update the user agent, another option is to install the Vivaldi browser (from the creators of Opera), which has a version called “Web Panels” that allows displaying the mobile version of a site from the web.
In either case, you will have managed to open the mobile version of Instagram in your web browser , so you now have access to the option to post photos and videos. Just click on the “+” icon at the bottom. A window will open to choose photos and videos from your computer. You can then edit it with the same options as in the mobile version, write captions, add locations and tag users.
If you want to publish a Story , click on the camera icon in the upper left of the screen. Choose your photo and customize it, but keep in mind that you will not be able to add augmented reality effects. When you’re done, click “Add to my story” and … voila! You already have everything you need to do Instagram marketing from your computer.