How do I use Instagram on Mac?

Instagram, the ever-popular iOS app which allows you to share photos and videos with your friends, family and followers across different social media platforms. Here's how to use Instagram on your Mac and MacBook. Follow us on Instagram: techadvisoruk.

Read next: Best free iPhone apps.

How to use Instagram on Mac: Use the desktop site

Instagram is an app developed for iOS devices, however photos can be viewed and liked through the desktop site.

How to use Instagram on Mac - Feed

However, through Instagram's website you cannot upload photos or videos to your account. This means, you'll be able to only view your profile (and edit it), search for people, see your followers and like other people's posts. At the time of writing, Instagram's website doesn't give you the power to upload anything, which is a huge drawback to using the desktop site. Of course, there are ways to get it working.

Read next: Essential apps to install on your new iPad or iPhone.

How to use and upload pictures to Instagram on Mac: Flume

While accessing the Instagram website via a web browser may be the most ‘pure’ way to experience Instagram on a Mac, there are other alternatives available. There are a number of third-party apps available on the Mac App Store that offer the ability to browse your feed, check your notifications and – unlike the website – allow you to post images from your Mac onto Instagram.

The most popular (and best looking in our opinion) third-party Instagram app on the Mac App Store is Flume, presenting your Instagram feed in true OS X style with swipe support and hidden menus. At a glance, the app shows a stream of pictures with no text, options to like or comment – or just about anything, really. However, clicking on a photo will bring up the caption, along with icons to like and comment on the photo. The app also shows your recent notifications, top pictures and even offers curated profile recommendations based on what you post. It also includes the ability to use Instagram Direct, allowing users to share media, profiles, hashtags and more privately in-app.

The most impressive feature of Flume is photo and video upload support, a feature offered by very few third-party Instagram apps. Just hover your mouse over the bottom left hand corner of the app and the menu will slide in – click the camera icon and either take a photo/video or upload one from your hard drive. It’s that simple! There is a catch though – although Flume 2.0 is free to download, users only get a few ‘free’ uploads before being asked to upgrade (via IAP) to Flume Pro. Flume Pro offers unlimited uploads, plus multiple account support – ideal for businesses and power users alike.

If you’re looking for a gorgeous way to access Instagram on your Mac with all the features of the official Mac app, Flume is a great choice.

How to use and upload pictures to Instagram on Mac: Emulators

If you're looking to upload photos from your Mac, you're going to need an emulator. One of the most consistent and trusted emulators we've come across is Bluestacks.

Bluestacks is a free Android emulator that can be downloaded on desktop computers. To get the application head over to Bluestacks' website and follow the on-screen prompts to install the program on your Mac.

How to use Instagram on Mac - Bluestacks

Once the application is downloaded, you'll need to setup your emulated Android device. For this, you'll need to have a Google account. If you don't have an account, you can create one from the program itself. Once you've signed into your Google account, you'll be prompted to sign into a Bluestacks account. Again, you'll need to create and link it to your Google account.

After having it all setup, you can now use the Android emulator. Navigate to the homescreen and look for the Play Store, Android's equivalent of the App Store.

Search for Instagram and install the app. After downloading the app on your Android emulator, sign-in and start using the popular social media app.

How to use Instagram on Mac - Post

You can now press on the camera button and record or take a picture through your Mac. Depending on what you want to do, you'll need a camera or microphone. If you don't have either of these two devices, you can just ignore the on-screen prompts about a Camera and upload an existing image or video you have stored on your Mac. 

Also see: How to use Snapchat on Mac.