I am a big fan of Instagram. It is my favorite social networking site right now. I much prefer looking at photos of my friend’s dinner plates than reading about how sick they got from eating it. Unfortunately, Instagram’s user interface is uninspiring. I am always looking for a third-party app that lets me access my feed with a different theme.
Instabot is a third-party app that, not only lets you view Instagram photos, but also lets you take, edit, and upload pictures to your feed. You can also keep track of who follows you and how often they interact with your posts…
This app offers a completely different look than Instagram. Instead of the blue and gray theme that has been the company’s iconic look since it first launched in 2010 (honestly, Instagram, don’t you think it’s about time you gave your app a new design?), the theme is black and red. While not my favorite design, at least Instabot offers a completely different look.
Instead of viewing your feed in a blog roll style where you scroll down to see images individually, you can see all of your friends’ pictures in a grid-like thumbnail view. You can then select a photo if you want to get a closer look and read what people are commenting about it.
There is a section for your profile, which includes information on other users that “like” your photos, people that you follow who aren’t following you back, and who has recently “unfollowed” you.
Tap the camera shutter trigger to see all of your photo options. You can take a picture from within the app or upload images from your iPhone’s photo library. You can add filters, text, the current date and weather conditions, and make a collage with as many as 10 different images on one page. There are also 30 different filters and various location-based stickers that you can add.
After you log in with your Instagram account information, you’ll see your feed. Your friends and family’s images will be displayed on a grid. You can see 12 photos at a time. If you scroll down, you can see more.
If you see a picture that you want to get a closer look at, tap it. You will see who posted it and how long ago. Plus you can see how many people like it and whether there are any comments with it. To read the comments, tap the word bubble. You can also repost other people’s pictures and save their images to your camera roll with a single tap.
To see what is trending on Instagram, switch from your personal feed to the Popular feed by tapping the tab at the top of the screen.
To see your profile, tap the icon that looks like a person. In your profile, you will be able to see how many people you follow, how many people follow you, how many photos you’ve posted, and how many you’ve liked. You can also check for new followers and follow them back, check for unfollowers and unfollow them back, see users that you follow but don’t follow you, and which users follow you that you aren’t following. You can see who you’ve blocked, who has requested to follow you, and who has just started following you.
I don’t think I like knowing who has unfollowed me. I was surprised to see that some people took me off of their Instagram list. Frankly, I was a little bit hurt. I, of course immediately unfollowed them.
To see active followers, tap the heart icon at the bottom of the screen. You can see user activity based on how often they like one of your photos and how often they comment on your photos. If you tap on their profile, you can see which photos they have liked and see the comments they have left.
The activity list also bothered me. One of my closest friends was 11th on my active followers list while someone I have only seen a few times in real life was the most active.
Even though I don’t like knowing that my friends aren’t good Instagram followers, I love being able to see this information. It is fun to see which photos get the most attention (usually my cat) and who has started following me.
To see photos from users in your area, tap the geotag icon at the far right on the bottom of the screen. Here, you can see recent pictures of other users around you. I was able to see photos of a car accident that took place a block away from my house. There was even a few pictures from the person who was injured. I felt like I watched the whole thing unfold and then saw the woman’s healing progress.
In addition to seeing pictures from users nearby, you can take a virtual trip by visiting popular places, like Time Square or Rio de Janeiro and see Instagram photos that have been uploaded from those locations. You will probably be looking at a lot of pictures of food and people’s feet while they are relaxing, but it is fun to check out what other Instagram users are uploading.
To upload images, tap the camera shutter icon at the center bottom of the screen. You can either take a picture from within the app, or add one from your iPhone’s photo library. You can add whatever text you like and then change the color, size, position, angle, and rotation of it.
You can also add a “sticker” with the current date and weather condition or location. There is a wide variety of “simple” and “fancy” stickers for each section including ones with graphics. You can also select a specific location from the geotag section. Instead of using my home address, I was able to tag the restaurant up the street.
When you are ready to publish your photo, you can share it to a number of different social networking sites, including Instagram of course, but also Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also save it to your photo library and email it directly.
This app gives you a whole new look for your Instagram feed. Plus, you can find out interesting bits of information about what your friends think of your photos and who has decided to drop you like a day-old doughnut.
I had some issues with the date and weather stickers. It seemed like it had trouble updating the correct information. It would get stuck on a previous date or location every once in a while.
Instabot is only $0.99. It can be used as a photo filter and effects app, a collage making app, an Instagram app, and a way to find out if your friends are good followers. It is worth twice the price for all of the fun features it comes with.
If you are a regular Instagram user, I highly suggest buying this app. It will change the way you interact with your feed. There are so many great features that make using the photo and video social networking app fun. Plus, you have access to some interesting data that Instagram does not offer as easily. Download Instabot in the App Store today.