Now that the Instagram-Android-Facebook buzz has finally calmed down, we can say for sure that Instagram is still an immensely popular mobile app, currently sitting at #7 on both the App Store and Google Play.
This kind of popularity sure calls for a way to use Instagram on the web, but an official way to do this still doesn’t exist. The lack of official solution brought about an abundance of unofficial means to view and use Instagram on the web. Here is a list of the best ones currently available.
Note that in order to use these websites, you’d need to sign in with your Instagram credentials and grant the website access to your information. In order to revoke this access, you can always visit instagram.com and click on Your Account –> Manage Applications.
Webbygram was originally created as an effort to persuade Instagram’s founders to create a web version of the app. Webbygram’s interface is very simple, and without bells and whistles it provides all the basic functionality of the Instagram mobile app. After you sign in with your Instagram credentials, you can browse your own photos, your friends’ photos, and popular photos.
The photos browser scrolls downward, with only one image visible at any given time. You can mouse over a photo to see its caption and the like button, or click through to the photo’s page to comment or share through Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.
When you sign into Webbygram, you get your own Webbygray URL (webbygram.com/username) which you can easily share with anyone who wished to see your Instagram photos but does not use Instagram.
Web.stagram might not be as slick as Webbygram, but it packs more features and functionality. After signing in, you will get to use the menu you can see above. The Feed and Popular tabs are obvious, and you can view them either as a list or a grid, changeable from the top right corner of the screen. List form gives you all possible actions for every photo, while grid is easier to browse through if you just want to look at many photos.
You can also search for users or tags, see only photos you’ve liked, and see hot and trending tags. Web.stagram was a little on the slow side when I tried it, but this was hopefully just a temporary glitch.
Yet another web viewer from Instagram, this one lets you browse popular photos without even signing in. Once you do, you can view your own feed, interact with other users, share photos and follow new friends.
Here, too, you get an easy to remember URL for your personal feed at extragr.am/username. You can search for photos by username or tag, but the more exciting option is the the Discover tab. Here you can discover new users to follow by categories such as actors, sports, music and food. You can also pick a hot tag from the scrolling list above to start browsing interesting new photos.
There is an Account tab, where you should be able to control some settings, but the button currently doesn’t work. Hopefully that’s being fixed as we speak. Read a full review of ExtraGram here.
Insta-great is a different take on your traditional Instagram web viewer, with horizontal scrolling, and what you might call horizontal browsing. Even without signing in, you can start browsing popular photos. For each photo, you’ll find the date it’s been uploaded and the filter that’s been used on it. You can click these to get only photos using that filter, or photos uploaded on that date. You can also click on a user name to browse all the photos uploaded by that user.
Your searches pile on top of each other, and to go back, you need to click on the title of what you were looking at before which is located above the current title. This might sound a bit complicated on paper, but it will be very obvious once you actually use it. The date search struggled a little bit, and was not always accurate, but the filter search worked very well.
You can also browse your feed, your photos and your likes through Insta-great’s web interface, as well as search for photos.
Did you really think you’d get away without Pinteresting your Instagram? Pinstagram is a beautiful web app for browsing through Instagram Pinterest style. You can browse your feed, popular images, your own photos and your likes. You can also allow your browser to use your current location, and browse nearby photos.
Hovering over a photo in the grid will reveal three buttons: comment, like and pin. So yes, you can pin images to Pinterest directly from Pinstagram’s interface. Clicking on an image will reveal a full size version of it. Click on a username to load a grid of that user’s photos, where you can also follow that user. You can also connect your account with Facebook and Twitter for easy sharing.
Instagrid is a bit different than the other options listed here in that it’s not really an Instagram browser, but more of a way to share Instagram with people who don’t use it. Sign in using your Instagram credentials to create your Instagram grid. You will get an instagrid.me/username URL to share, and people who don’t use Instagram will also be able to subscribe to your feed and get e-mail notifications when you add new photos.
Aside from sharing your own photos, you can create hashtag galleries through the main page, or by using this URL: instagrid.me/tag/YOURTAG. For example, instagrid.me/tag/chocolate will give you a grid all made up of photos that have the #chocolate tag.
You can then share this gallery with your friends on Twitter or Facebook.
If you love stats, there are some to be found on Statigram. For every popular service, there is a service (or several) that gives relevant stats. Statigram does just that for Instagram, along with providing the usual Instagram browsing capabilities.
You can browse photos in a grid, a list or a slideshow, and comment, like and share as with other services. That Statistics tab is where it gets more interesting. Here you can get a general overview of your Instagram activity, and bore down into a monthly analysis, content analysis, engagement analysis and more.
You can also create nice infographic-like snapshots of your stats to share with your friends. In the promote tab, you’ll find some tools which you can use to promote your Instagram photos with Statigram, such as an RSS feed URL, a Timeline cover creator and other interesting features.
All these options are great for using Instagram on the web. If I had to choose just one, I would probably go with Pinstagram, not because of its Pinterest style, but simply because it has the most minimalist design of the lot, while still providing an array of useful features. If you love stats, though, don’t skip on Statigram.
Do you know of other or better web viewers for Instagram? Let us know in the comments!