In Instagram’s early days, it used to say something very cheesy like “Sharing your mobile photos with the world” on the single web page that it used to have on the internet. Instagram’s big thing was that it was mobile. Mobile was cool. But then, without great fanfare, it dropped the “mobile” bit on its strapline, signalling that, hey, we’re cool about you wowing followers with 300mm zoom shots with a Canon 5D. Big cameras, aswell as mobiles, were cool. But if you wanted to post big-camera photos to Instagram, you had to transfer them to your mobile first, which was a bit of a faff.
Then, as Instagram grew, businesses (Burberry is the classic example everyone gives) started using it as a way to advertise. It’s a great way to feed your customers pictures of new products, or of snazzy events you’re organising. Mobile was the new way to grab your customers’ eyeballs. They weren’t chained to their desks on the internet, they were out and about checking their Instagram feeds while break-dancing along the street. Some of those businesses amassed huge numbers of followers (thanks mainly to Instagram putting them on their suggested user list) and so more businesses took notice of Instagram. New apps, like Nitrogram and Simply Measured, sprang up to support the business of using Instagram to sell stuff. And so, following in the footsteps of Twitter, as Instagram became A big business, it became big business itself. These apps tell us there are optimal times for getting more likes and followers on Instagram. So a marketing junior at Burberry would get up in the middle of the night, upload a Canon 5D photo from the previous night’s launch party to their mobile and then, bleary-eyed, fiddle around with his iphone, copying and pasting in a pre-prepared caption that they’d emailed themselves, and then post it to Instagram to get the maximum number of likes in the Japanese market. Then go back to bed.
Until now. I’d googled it before without success, but I tried again: “Schedule Instagrams desk-top”. A link to a Facebook discussion and halfway down the page: “Try postso.com”. I did and it works. You can now schedule Instagram posts from your desk-top.
So we’ve come full circle. Mobile is no longer cool. Of course it isn’t. If you’re running an Instagram business, you don’t want to be tippy-tapping captions on a tiny screen, mobile photos aren’t that good a lot of the time and you don’t want to get up in the middle of the night for your Japanese market. Postso doesn’t seem to have been authorised by Instagram. It doesn’t have to access Instagram’s API because it emulates it (whatever that means). But Instagram most certainly knows about it and since it will most certainly boost its own business interests, we imagine it will turn a blind eye. That’s cool.
Posting for Burberry to get the Japanese market: not cool.