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4 ways to bring Instagram to your desktop

Instagrille's tiled view of Instagram feed
Instagrille's tiled view of Instagram feed.Instagram, Leslie Meredith

You don't need an iPhone, iPad or an Android device to see your friends' Instagram photos, all you need is an Internet connection.  Several websites let you view, search and comment on photos posted to Instagram, and some let you do things like search photos nearby that you can't do in Instagram's mobile app.     

However, if you're looking for a way to post to Instagram from your computer, it can't be done. This is a common question on Instagram Web-viewing sites. Some sites do allow you to download Instagram photos. But a word of caution here: If you're downloading someone else's photo, don't reuse it without permission.    

Facebook, Instagram's new owner, may be working on an official website for Instagram, according to rumors that surfaced last week. Currently, you can manage your account online at Instagram, but that's about it. If you want to do more, here are four sites to try:     

The PC app recreates your Instagram on the big screen of your computer in an enticing tiled format and adds some nifty features that even Instagram doesn't offer. In addition to viewing your feed and the most popular photos, you can see photos that were taken near your current location. And, you can download any Instagram photo by hovering over the bottom of an image and selecting download.  

Instagrille is available through Pokki, a new Apple-style app store for PCs created by SweetLabs of San Diego and backed by Google and Intel. For now, it's PC only, but the company plans to release a Mac version soon.     

 Webstagram One of the original Web viewers, the site is not as visually appealing as newer Instagrille, but it does the job. After logging in, you can see your Instagram feed, comment, like and search just as you do on the mobile app. Webstagram has just launched (July 23) a forum for Instagram users that includes editing tips. 

Webstagram will ask if you'd like to follow it on Instagram, but if you do, be prepared for long streams of comments that tend to disrupt the flow of photos on your feed. 

Gramfeed The site offers integration with Google Maps, so you can enter a city, see a tiled layout of all photos taken in that area and then select pins on the corresponding map to see photos taken at precise locations. Like with Instagrille, you can download photos to your computer, but it does entail an extra step. Click "Download," and a new tab opens with the selected photo that you'll have to "save as" to download.   

Ink361 Here you see a rolling horizontal view of your Instagram feed and can create albums based on hashtag (keywords). Hashtags have become a way of identifying types of photos unique to Instagram, such as #jumpstagram (people caught mid-air on camera) and #fromwhereistand (photos that usually include the photographer's feet) [Tips to 'Tell' Better Stories on Facebook]   

Ink361 also offers several fun tools. You can make Facebook cover photos, Twitter backgrounds and iPad wallpaper from your Instagram feed. Ink361 plans to release a new version soon — stay tuned.

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