Any Instagrammer worth their likes is meticulously picky about camera apps and photo editors, but a knockout account takes even more than good photography. With the apps on this list, you can put together creative layouts, see how new photos will look in your feed, add artsy fonts to your stories, turn live photos into videos — in other words, take your Instagram to a whole new level. Some of the apps offer in-app purchases, others will cost you a few dollars to download, but all are worth your while.
Here then are the best apps to use Instagram on a Mac in order of ranking. Flume is the closest thing to having Instagram for Mac on your desktop and easily the best Instagram app for Mac we’ve tried. Flume is the only app that genuinely allows you to upload photos and videos from your Mac to Instagram.
Simply posting great photos doesn’t cut it — you also need a fantastic feed. And if there’s one app that helps you meet impossible Instagram feed goals, it’s Preview. Connect your account, upload the photos you’re planning to post, and then drag them around until you’re happy with the look. That alone is enough to love Preview, but it has even more helpful features like post scheduling, editing, and hashtag research.
Getting the perfect shot can take a dozen tries, especially when it’s someone else behind the camera (shout-out to the boyfriends of Instagram). And while taking tons of pics is part of the fun, finding the one you like in all this mess is a nightmare. Gemini Photos suggests you the best shot among several lookalikes and lets you delete all the rest in a few taps. Plus, it helps you get rid of those Insta stories autosaved to your iPhone and other clutter in your Camera Roll.
Sharing a potpourri of moments from last summer or announcing the winning entries in a photo contest — you always have use for layouts on the Gram. In case you didn’t know, Instagram offers its very own Layout, the best Instagram collage app that lets you mix up to 9 photos in various grids. Save the resulting image to your iPhone and post away!
If you ever tried to catch that bridge at sunrise, when it’s floating in the morning mist, or shoot a portrait on the beach in the glowing sunset light, you know it can be tricky to get the timing right. Lumy is a cute magic hour app that shows you the exact times for the sunrise, the sunset, and the golden hour — in your current location and at this time of the year. It works offline, which comes in handy when you’re on the road and planning your day around the lighting.
The variety of Insta fonts in Stories is underwhelming, but with Word Swag you can design full-blown Instagram posters right on your iPhone. The app features over 60 hand-crafted fonts and 22 filters — all easy to apply to either your own photos or some 1.3 million included backgrounds. So whether you want to post an Insta story, a quote, or a birthday card for a friend, you’ll say it with style.
Speaking of Instagram Stories, you don’t have to limit yourself to default layouts either. Unfold has endless minimalist templates that let you combine several photos or videos with headlines and body text. You can export your creation in high resolution and at just the right aspect ratio, so it's super easy to post a story that stands out from the reel of others.
You know how sometimes you take a unique live photo only to discover you can't post it anywhere, because social media apps convert them into regular images? With Momento, you can turn a live a photo into a video or a GIF with added music, text, AR effects, and what not. Moreover, you can shoot stop motion videos — the long-loved genre that had a recent comeback.
Using white borders on Instagram photos can completely transform your feed. And while Instagram offers that feature, it’s very limited — all you can do is add or remove the border, with no control over its color or width. Whitagram, however, allows you to add vertical, horizontal, or all-around borders in several colors and of any width you like. Works best for square photos, but portrait and landscape pics have their own charm.
Now you’re all set to achieve those #InstagramFeedGoals! Try out the apps we recommend in this post, and share it with friends, so they, too, can jazz up their Insta feeds.
Your computer and mobile phone live two different lives. There are apps so broad-gauge you can’t limit their functionality to mobile or tablet only. And there’s hardly a better example than Instagram. Focused on photo and video sharing, Instagram grew into a tool for recording every moment of your routine. While lots of communication happens around Instagram posts and stories, it was inevitable for the app to become a messenger as well. There’s one little problem with that, though.
You can access Instagram on Mac via your browser, but there is no dedicated Instagram desktop app for macOS. The web version doesn’t support the Instagram direct messaging feature. This means you can neither send nor view your messages if you access the platform from a computer. But worry not, there are some workarounds — both inside the native app and with the assistance of third-party tools.
Instagram Direct was added to the platform in 2013, around three years after the launch. You can access Instagram direct messages (DMs) via the icon in the top right corner of your Feed from mobile. Here’s what you can do with the Instagram messenger:
You can read more about the capabilities of DMs on the Instagram Help Centre.
DM on Instagram from Mac
Get a huge set of top apps for DM on Instagram from Mac, view your messages, and receive notifications without having to switch to mobile. Best utilities in one pack, give it a go!
Once you receive a message on Instagram, you’ll see a number count appear with your DM icon. Tap it and you get access to the message. For a long time, this was the only way to check direct messages on Instagram — by launching the app. Since 2017, Instagram has also added the notifications feature, allowing users to view messages right from a phone’s locked screen.
How to check direct messages on Instagram on computer? To allow Instagram send you notifications, you have to do the following:
In the same menu, you can customize notifications settings for posts, likes, comments as well as pause all in a click.
Again, this works only for mobile. If you want to receive notifications from Instagram on a Mac, you’ll need a third-party tool.
An all-in-one messenger for Mac, IM+ gives you the flexibility of choice in terms of how many messenger accounts you can handle from one spot. It also covers the DM feature that Instagram’s native app doesn’t have. Basically, it’s an aggregator of messengers that supports popular platforms you use — from Slack to Facebook Messenger to Telegram, and sits in your Dock for easy access to all communications.
The key pain IM+ is solving relates to the number of accounts you can manage. The app simplifies your life if you need to toggle between business and personal accounts on Instagram. Plus, sometimes we all get into a messaging loop — switching between Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. IM+ puts it all into a sidebar, so you don’t have to dig around.
Here’s how IM+ adds flexibility into your Instagram routine:
Whether for different channels or multiple Instagram accounts, IM+ is a perfect tool for business communication. If you want to learn more about how to reap benefits from Instagram for Business, check out this guide.
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IM+ works if you need to check DMs on Instagram, but it’s pretty much limited to messaging. Flume is a whole different story. The app fits perfectly into your Mac’s interface and does all the magic your mobile Instagram app can do. Maybe a bit more exquisitely.
As you launch Flume and log into your account, the app will show a collection of screens that are actually photos and videos posted by the people you follow. The feed looks undistracting, placing a huge focus on the content. All the beauty is in the functionality, though.
Let’s first deal with what we are here for.
Just as IM+, Flume simply adds that magical DM button to your app’s menu bar. Only in this case the button appears in the overlay menu in the bottom, instead of the upper right corner. The menu will appear instantly as you hover over the bottom part of the Flume’s window.
As you click the button, the app will take you to the list of your Instagram inbox conversations. To create a new message, click on the plus button in the top right corner. You can also search through your messages as well as filter by unread or by friends only.
Once you’ve mastered Instagram DM on Mac, dive deeper into Flume — it has many beautiful assets you can benefit from:
If you use Instagram for business and don’t want to miss an important message, Flume also allows to enable desktop notifications. You can either turn on push notifications mode, or customize flexibly. For instance, you can set the app to show a desktop notification, badge the Dock icon, play an audio alert, or do all three whenever someone sends you a new message. The same works for new posts, activity, comments, and follower request.
Without using any third-party software on Mac, your Instagram life is pretty much limited to viewing photos, liking, and commenting. But it’s not carved in stone, though. You can make Instagram think you’re accessing the platform from your mobile phone and thus get access to some of the features unavailable on a Mac.
Unfortunately, you can’t set the web version of Instagram to show messages — so you still need Flume or IM+ for that. What you can do is change browser user agent to iPhone or iPad to enable photo upload on a Mac:
Well, it still has some limitations. If you change user agent to mobile, you’ll be able to post photos and stories as well as do some basic editing — like rotate or add text and stamps to stories. However, you won’t be able to upload video. Plus, there won’t be any of the filters and color effects available.
Note: Instagram thinks you’re using your phone, so it might occasionally give you mobile-related prompts. For instance, it can ask you to rotate your device. To fix the problem, you’ll just need to make the window look narrower by dragging its edge inwards.
Cheating is cheating. You can use the option of tweaking Instagram settings for emergency cases, but it doesn’t cater for frequent use. This is why we recommend to have a native app like Flume installed on your Mac. This is the best alternative to a fully-functional Instagram application with a beautiful interface. You can try Flume in combination with IM+ messenger if you own Setapp. As a nice perk, you get around 170 other macOS tools in the same package for a flat fee.