Starting an Instagram stream for your church, school or other organization is a great way to share photos and engage your users. Instagram is very easy to use, but it can only be used on a mobile device, such as smartphones or certain tablets. Instagram can also easily be connected with your other social media such as Facebook and Twitter to share your photos there.
Because Instagram is exclusive to mobile devices, you cannot post to your Instagram feed from a computer. To begin with Instagram, you will need to download the Instagram app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play App Store on your mobile device. You will then need to create an Instagram account. Once you have some photos added to your feed, you can consider sharing it to your website with a third party widget.
Many third party vendors offer widgets to display Instagram photos on your website. These widgets are easy to use and can be added to your website very easily using Site Manager’s Widget Embed tool in the main body or on the right side bar. Just make sure to copy the full code and paste it into the Widget Embed tool. There are many different widget options and of course, each has their individual pros and cons. Here are 4 of the most popular options.
First, let’s talk about Snap Widget and Intagme. Snap Widget and Intagme only offer widgets that you can add to your website; they do not offer additional functionality with Instagram, such as viewing photos from people you follow or tracking your statistics. However, both are very easy to use and quick to get started with, and can easily be added to a your DIS or FWS website.
Snap Widget can be used with either an Instagram username or a hashtag. A hashtag is an easy option to allow your staff or families to share their photos as well. However, be aware that anyone can use a hashtag, so if others may share photos inappropriately with the hashtag. With Snap Widget, you have several different layout options with your widget; you can create a grid display, a photo board, a scrolling display, a slideshow, or a photo map. Snap Widget offers the most customization of any of the Instagram viewing widgets reviewed here. The Basic version of Snap Widget is free; however, you may see ads on your Snap Widget page, customized for your audience with Google’s DART cookie. You can pay for the use of Snap Widget if you would like to remove all ads and access additional features and customization.
On the left is an example of Snap Widget’s board display option. This would look best on the main body of a page. On the right is an example of Snap Widget’s grid option, set to create a grid of 3×1 photos. This would work well on a right side bar. Clicking these photo thumbnails would take your users to a Snap Widget page with all of the detail about these images; this is where your user may see ads.
Intagme is very similar to Snap Widget. Intagme offers fewer display options, but it is also completely free and does not currently use ads on their website. You can share by username or hashtag, but you only have the display options of grid or slideshow.
On the left is the Intagme grid on a right side bar, with 2×3 photos, set to 100px thumbnail size. On the right is a screenshot of the Intag me slideshow option, set to 200px thumbnails, which will fit on the right side bar of most of our designs. You may need to experiment with the thumbnail size to find one that will work for you. Like Snap Widget, clicking on the photo will take your users to an Intagme page with a large copy of the photo and all of the photo details. However Intagme has a unique advantage because they are the only option that does not currently use ads on their website.
Now, let’s talk about Webstagram and Statigram. Webstagram and Statigram offer more integration and functionality with Instagram. Unlike Snap Widget and Intagme, you need to login with your Instagram account to use these sites.
Webstagram offers a lot of integration with Instagram and is also completely free. You can create a “Follow Me Button” which allows your website visitors to follow you easily. You can also use Webstagram to view photos of people that you follow on Instagram and manage your Instagram account, like you would from your phone. And, of course, you can also add an “Instagram Gallery” to your website. Webstagram only offers a grid display, but the gallery properties are otherwise comparable to the other options.
At the left, you can see Webstagram’s grid option. Clicking on the photo will open a new browser tab of Webstagram’s page with that photo and the details. At the right is Webstagram’s custom “Follow Me” button. Like each of the other options, clicking on the photo will take you to a Webstagram page with all of the details on the photo and Webstagram does have ads on their website.
Lastly, Statigram is another popular option. Like Webstagram, Statigram offers the most functionality of any of these options, but it does not offer the same customization for the widget as Snap Widget does. Statigram offers easily understood statistics about your instagram feed, such as how engaged your viewers are and how frequently your photos are being shared. Statigram also offers a follow button and a gallery widget.
At the left, you can see how Statigram’s grid display looks. It is set for 2×2 photos, and 200px wide. In the middle, you can see Statigram’s slideshow option. It is also set to 200px wide. Both options do show Statigram’s logo at the bottom. Lastly, at the right, you can see the Follow button that you can create with Statigram. Like all of the other options, clicking on the photo will take you to a Statigram page with all of the details on the photo and Statigram does have ads on their website.
While Instagram does not offer a gallery widget themselves, they do also offer a badge to follow your Instagram feed. You can grab the code for this by going to the Instagram website and logging to your account. Once logged in, click on your username at the upper right and choose “Badges”. Here you can select the Badge you want and grab the code to share that Badge on your website. Clicking on the badge will take your users to your Instagram page with all of your photos available to see.
As you can see, you have many options for sharing your Instagram feed on your website. In review, Intagme is the only option which is both free and does not have advertisements on their site. Snap Widget offers the most layout options for your Instagram feed, with unique displays such as a map or a scrolling display. Webstagram and Statigram both offer more integration with Instagram if you want to browse Instagram on your computer. Statigram stands out in particular with its statistics. For those who just want to link up to their Instagram feed, without displaying photos on their website, Instagram’s own badge is a straight-forward option.