By Laia Cardona, on 29 June 2022
Whether it's through posts, Stories, or Instagram Reels, Instagram has made its way into the day-to-day life of marketers.
If you usually work from your computer, you may find it more useful to use the Instagram web client, but you may not be sure how to do it effectively or how to make the most of it.
Read on to learn more about it!
Instagram Web and App
When Instagram was 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 photos and upload them, so its creators probably thought it didn't make much sense to create a web version.
This changed in November 2012, when instagram.com launched and allowed anyone to view users' feeds from their computer. However, this version had many limitations: you couldn't use the search bar or view posts from multiple users.
Gradually, the web version was updated with new functionalities, although it had always remained in the background with respect to the mobile app. Today, all this has changed and, finally, you can upload content and create posts from the Instagram web client on your computer.
What You Can Do on Instagram Web Client
Log in with your regular Instagram account and view your news feed, stories, and notifications.
- Interact with other users' posts and Stories.
- Post videos and images on Instagram from the web version
- Pause videos. This functionality is only present in the web version; on mobile, when we tap on a video, the only thing we can do is change the volume.
- Send direct messages
- Watch live broadcasts. For a long time, this feature was exclusive to the mobile version of Instagram. But since last month, Instagram web users have been able to watch livestreams from their computers. In fact, many users prefer this option, since the videos can be viewed in larger sizes and the comments are also displayed on the side of the video, instead of overlapping it.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed, need to disconnect, and want to temporarily deactivate your account without deleting it, you can do so from the web version. You can temporarily deactivate your account and it will be automatically reactivated when you log in again with your login and password.
What You Can't Do on Instagram Web Client
- Use Instagram Shopping. Instagram Web is not compatible with shopping, so images with tagged products appear without these tags.
- Post to Reels. Right now, Reels is Instagram's most powerful new feature and it has the most engagement within the app. That's why it's important to activate this option soon.
How to Use Instagram Web From Your Computer
Log In and Browse
- If you want to simply view 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 other features of your account, the first step is to log in. To do this, enter your username and password at www.instagram.com.
- Once you do, you'll be presented with the Instagram feed you're already familiar with, 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 where the posts in your feed are displayed. You can scroll through to see what's new, click to see multiple photos in a gallery, watch videos (with the pause feature we discussed earlier), like a post, or add comments. Basically, you can see everything you could see on the mobile app.
- You can use the Explore button to browse the most popular posts at the moment or use the heart icon to see your notifications.
- On the right-hand side, you will find the Stories section. If you click on a user's profile, you can 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 one. As you can see, the functionality is very similar to the app version.
- To watch an Instagram Live video, just click on the "Live" label next to the story.
Sending Direct Messages
As we mentioned before, Instagram Web now also allows you to send direct messages from your computer. But, there are some limitations
- What you can do: create new groups, send stickers, and share photos from your computer.
- What you can't do: send GIFs.
To use direct messages from Instagram Web, follow these steps:
- Open Instagram web in your browser and click the direct messages button.
- You will see an interface with two panels. You can click on a conversation to start messaging from there or click the New Message button to create a thread or group from scratch.
- In the pop-up window that appears, type the name of the account or 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 on the direct message icon from any post to send it to a conversation (just like in the mobile app).
Post Videos and Photos In the Feed
Here's the new function that Instagram has been allowing you to use since November 2021 on the web version: publish posts from your computer. So, you can upload videos and photos more conveniently and easily. Below is how to do so:
- Click on the + symbol at the top right.
- Once clicked, a small window will open. Here you have the option to drag the photos or videos or click the "Select from computer" button to browse the folders on your PC.
- Then, you can choose the size of the post. If you have selected several images, you can also rearrange the content.
- Click "Next" and you will be given the option to add filters to each of the images or videos.
- Once finished, click on "Next" again. Here, you will have the option to tag people in the post. To do this, click on the image or video you want to tag and type the name of the profile you want to appear.
- You can also write copy for your post and add emoticons.
- Then you can add a location, describe your photos in "Accessibility", a function that describes the images to people with vision problems, and finally in "Advanced settings", you can disable the comments.
- Once you have completed all these steps, all you have to do is click on "Share". And that's it! Easy, isn't it?