Tool Time: 10 awesome tools for doing more with Instagram

July 27th, 2012 by | 11 Comments

As one of the hottest apps today, Instagram is fueling a generation of mobile photographers. You’ll see them practically everywhere—smartphone-armed younglings that range from the bearded youth movement to that corporate preppy across the hall snapping photos of anything and everything that comes close to what they define as “interesting.”

Brands online are also getting aboard this massive trend, using the mobile photo sharing app for their social media marketing campaigns. Some use it as an added component for engaging with their followers, while others have found many ways to make it the central tool for their curated content marketing strategies.

Of course, Instagram still has its own limits. As we are wont to do, we expect the Internet to start developing services and exploring features the app has yet to even touch. The Internet delivered. Here is a list of some of those third-party services (nearly all bearing either “insta” or “gram” in their names) you can also use in different ways to supplement your brand’s online marketing strategies.

As you may expect, a majority of the third party apps dedicated for Instagram involve printing on some kind of product in different materials. But perhaps one of the most expansive printing services for Instagram photos in this list is PrintStagram. They can print your filter-soaked photos as tiny cards, large posters, stickers, spiral bound books, and shirts. They can even print all your photos and collect them in a box. These can be great as souvenirs for your brand’s next Tweetup.

CanvasPop is probably one of the biggest canvas printing companies online, and recently they added the option to turn Instagram photos into canvas artworks for your wall. Their prints come in a variety sizes and can even print low resolution pics into pixel-free wall art. With Instagram’s nice list of filters and the way ink can work with canvas’ textured surface,  the resulting pieces make for lovely and interesting design pieces for your brand’s office, as souvenirs for your event’s attendees.

Instaprint is a printer box that prints your Instagram photos for your social media marketing

Instaprint has created a portable, wall-mounted printer box that prints Instagram photos using an inkless system—a throwback to the Polaroid cameras of yesteryears. You can set each printer box to sniff out any defined specific hashtags and tagged geolocation spots on Instagram. Think of it like modern photobooths you can set up for your next event where these Instaprint boxes will print images as they are uploaded. While Breakfast, the dev company behind it that specializes in social media integrating products, has yet to make these boxes readily available for purchase, you can still rent these nifty little boxes for events.

Pinstagram / Webstagram
While we wait for Instagram’s rumored Web platform to roll out of the woodwork, there are boatloads of services that’ll let you view Instagram on your favorite browser. Two of our favorites are Webstagram and Pinstagram. Webstagram maximizes the onscreen real estate, displaying large image views, bigger text field for the comments, and even lets you use emoticons. Pinstagram, on the other hand, displays your photos in an interface identical to Pinterest’s, making it easier to scour through images and interact with other people.
For a lot of brands, the kind and quality of the photos they upload on Instagram can point the direction (and sometimes even the success) of their campaigns. Let an image of a product prototype you’re working on slip into the Web, and your name can make it to the rumor mill (right, Apple?). Share a spoiler-y backstage image during one of your events and you can create a huge buzz from your community. Services like Copygram will be essential in backing up your photos to make sure they’re secured and easily accessible should Instagram experience any downtime.

With a few taps, the iOS app Flipagram can create video slideshows out of your Instagram photos in minutes. And once it’s done churning your video, you can easily share it with your followers on Facebook and YouTube. The important thing here is to plan and create a compelling video, and once posted online, make sure to engage with your followers on its comments section.

People love to share images of their mouth-watering meals on Instagram, looking so delectable you swear you could just nom them. Cocoagraphs crosses that boundary, making your Instagram photos actually edible. The Philadelphia-based, family operated company specializes in taking in your image filtered photos and printing them on artisan chocolate. From the Web site, you can choose to upload your photos, add captions and frames, and have them printed on milk, white, dark, or organic dark chocolate. Now this is a cool swag idea for your next event, or as corporate giveaways for your partners and clients.

InstaMap is a mobile app that centers around finding and displaying Instagram photos based on location. You start by setting up a specific location on the app and it’ll showcase a series of Instagram photos taken and uploaded on that location. In addition to this, images from users or hashtags are also displayed as they are posted. Obviously, there are many ways brands can use this for their campaigns or to simply engage with users online. It can be used as a way to monitor activities at perhaps a multi-venue event. Or, with the help of a developer, you can diddle with the API to display in real-time image content around a specific hashtag or location.


Knowing your activities on Instagram can be valuable, enabling you to understand your progress and set ways to improve your engagements and realign with your Internet marketing goals. Here, the iOS app Statigram can be a good tool for you as it generates a rather nice looking report. It shows your usage history, as well as details like the date of your first photo total number of image uploads, your most used filters, and the average numbers of the Likes you specific photos have gotten.

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