Instagram is a mobile only social network. It’s always been like that. It started out exclusive to iOS users but has since expanded to other platforms. It has a web interface that you can access from your desktop but it is extremely limited. You can’t do much from the desktop, and you certainly can’t upload photos from it. Of the countless Instagram desktop apps that are available for both Windows and Mac, none let you share photos on Instagram from your desktop. The good news is that Instagram is built for mobiles and not just smartphones. It has an okay-ish mobile app which just got a brand new feature; uploading photos. You can use the mobile website to share photos on Instagram from your desktop.
Change User Agent
In order to upload and share photos on Instagram from your desktop, you need to access the mobile website. You can access it if the website thinks you’re visiting from a mobile browser. To trick the website, you have to make your desktop browser appear to be a mobile browser i.e., you need to change the user agent.
It’s simplest to accomplish this with Firefox. Open Firefox and install the User Agent Switcher add-on. This add-on is the easiest way to spoof what browser and OS you’re using. Install it and drag its icon out on to the toolbar. Click the icon and select ‘iPhone 3.0’ from the list of default user agents.
Share Photos On Instagram
Visit Instagram and log in with your Facebook account. Instagram thinks you’re coming from an iPhone so it will take you to its mobile website. You will see a camera button at the top. Click it and select a photo from your desktop to upload.
Instagram’s mobile website isn’t big on features. You can only crop or rotate a photo. You cannot apply any of the in-app filters you get in the official apps.
This little trick is great if you don’t want to use Instagram’s filters. If you process and treat your images on your desktop with an app like Photoshop, this is the easiest way to share photos on Instagram from your desktop. If you want to use the filters, you’re going to have to move the photo to your smartphone and then apply filters in the app.
This is mostly for digital artists and photographers who share their work on Instagram without any filters etc. We’re going to go out on a limb here and say you will soon see apps crop up that let you do all this. The apps will do everything from spoofing your user agent to adding their own filters. This is going to get easier to do with time. The only barrier that might slow it down is if Instagram blocks apps. In that case, this is how you can still get to the mobile website.