Update note: Instagram now officially supports multiple accounts, and we’ve covered an easier way of cloning Android apps that could also be used for this purpose. We recommend checking out those articles for the most up-to-date information, but if you still want to use the following method (which relies on an app called Instwogram), feel free to read on).
Updated by Riley J. Dennis on November 18th, 2016.
Do you own more than one Instagram account? Managing both of them on the same Android device might seem next to impossible. Instagram is a mobile-only app (although there are ways to use it without a mobile device) and has no multiple account feature, and forever logging in and out of your multiple accounts on the Instagram app is just too much of a hassle.
Some apps, such as Phonegram promise to add multiple-account features. But the promise breaks down when it comes to posting photos — you can’t. So are you doomed to inefficiency and awkward workarounds? Not exactly. Here’s a neat trick that will let you run two Instagram accounts on the same Android device.
A Word About Sideloading
In order to use the trick described below, you’re going to have to know a bit about sideloading. While most Android apps are available on Google Play, there’s a thriving community of developers who are constantly developing apps that never make it to the Play Store. If you want to install these apps, you’re going to have to do so manually.
In order to install third-party apps manually, you’re going to have to tell your Android device to allow installations from unknown sources (i.e., not Google Play). To do this, head over to your security settings and check the box next to “Unknown sources” as seen above.
We have a full sideloading guide for you, if you need it, but the process is not a complicated one. The most important thing is to make sure the app you’re downloading is not harmful. You can never be 100% sure, but if the app comes from an established thread in XDA developers or from a big APK source, you should be fine.
It is important to remember that any app you install manually is not officially supported by anyone, and can therefore contain bugs or act in weird ways on your device. I cannot guarantee that everything will work smoothly for you, but if things don’t work out, simply uninstall the app from your device and no harm done.
Let’s get down to business! If you’ve reached this point, you must really want to run those multiple Instagram accounts, and you will, in just a few minutes. The process below is shown on a Nexus 5, but this should work the same on any Android device.
The first thing you need to do is install Instwogram. Instwogram is an Instagram clone by a developer called Me-Nex S. When you run this clone on your device next to the official Instagram app, you’re basically running Instagram twice, thus using it with two different accounts.
Instwogram is constantly updated according to the latest Instagram release, so your best bet is to download it straight from the Instwogram XDA thread. Just look for the latest release and follow the link to download the APK. You can do this from your Android device to make things quicker.
Instwogram does ask for quite a few permissions, some of which you may not feel too comfortable with. However, Instagram itself also asks for some pretty creepy permissions, so there’s no much you can do there.
Once installed, use Instwogram to sign in to one of your accounts. You can also create a new account using the app, if you want.
Using Multiple Accounts
That’s it! You now essentially have two instances of Instagram running on your device — Instagram and Instwogram — and each can be connected to a different account.
As you can see, the two instances are identical to one another — Instwogram is just an Instagram clone — but each is connected to a different user. You’ll also be able to differentiate between them when it comes to notifications by the different icon in your notification bar.
You can use Instwogram just like Instagram to browse your feed, discover photos and users, post photos and videos, etc.
As mentioned above, sideloading an app like this means you may encounter some bugs. For me, I found that when I first launched Instwogram it could not access my camera correctly, and also caused the same problem on Instagram itself. Every time I tried taking a photo with the app, all I got was a black screen, and Instwogram even went as far as crashing a couple of times when I tried this. Restarting the phone resolved this issue in both apps.
Did It Work?
Go ahead and give Instwogram a try. I’d love to hear how it worked for you and if you encountered any specific bugs. If you’re new to Instagram and still finding your way around, be sure to read our top Instagram tips for newbies!