Instagram has remained pretty hard to access on desktop computers since its launch back in 2010. It has expanded to include a web app, but many capabilities available on the mobile version like upload or direct message are still nowhere to be found.
Fortunately, since Instagram has loosened up on its API restrictions, more third-party apps have come to the rescue in recent years. In fact, it’s now possible to have a nearly complete Instagram experience on the Mac. These three apps available in the Mac App Store let you direct message in Instagram, upload your photos and of course browse through your feed.
1. Upload Instagram Photos with Uplet
We’ve actually written about Uplet before on Guiding Tech, but it’s still arguably the best way to upload Instagram photos from your Mac. Its sole purpose is to do just that. Just launch the app, log in with Instagram, click Add Photos and you’re set.
But the best feature about Uplet is that it’s also one of the only apps available that can bulk upload to Instagram. That means you can select multiple photos and upload them all at once, each with their own captions.
Once you’ve selected one or several photos, just put in your caption(s) and click Share or Share All to post them to your Instagram account. A downside is that you can’t apply any filters in Uplet, so you’ll have to do your editing beforehand. That’s easy though too — check out some awesome Mac apps perfect for quickly editing photos for Instagram.
Another downside is that Uplet costs $9.99, which may be steep for some folks. You really have to want batch uploading bad enough.
2. Share in Private with Direct Message for Instagram
Direct Message for Instagram is another Mac app that doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. Log in with your Instagram account to have the app pull up your direct messages in a UI that looks nearly identical to Instagram’s official app. Click a conversation to view images and messages sent to you, plus write your own message, attach photos or send a heart. You can also compose new messages from scratch.
The app supports push notifications so you’ll get a banner alert every time you get a new direct message if you please. Plus you can mute notifications for specific conversations if you’re engaged with some more than others.
A little disappointing is that the app can’t enlarge photos or videos, so whenever you click the message sent to you, the original Instagram post opens in a browser window. It’s a small price to pay though.
Flume is a near perfect Instagram client for Mac. It lets you browse your Instagram feed in a beautiful gallery format, plus still take advantage of nearly every major feature. It even builds in both uploading and direct messaging, though neither to the extent of the aforementioned apps. And it looks great on OS X Yosemite and El Capitan.
View and interact with your home feed, see your likes and activity, view direct messages, upload a photo and explore the rest of Instagram all from Flume. Plus you can choose from either a scrolling column view or a gorgeous grid view.
Arguably the best part about Flume is that it still orders your photos in reverse chronological order, bypassing Instagram’s new algorithm to “recommend” photos you supposedly want to see first.