I am not really much of an Instagram user but I am slowly getting into it. I hear time and time again about why I should use it for SEO and brand awareness reasons. I had uploaded a handful of pictures from my phone but couldn't understand why I couldn't upload from my computer. Had I thought logically about it, Instagram is all about uploading instant images so it is not really about uploading library images. Anyway, I started looking for ways to upload from my MAC. I didn't want to upload my whole portfolio but I did want to have the option of uploading relevant content when the need arose. I was thinking about uploading the odd image when shooting on location, or maybe a wedding image. Now I know this isn't exactly what it is designed for but I wanted the option.
After a bit of hasty research I found an application called Gramblr. This was it, exactly what I was looking for. I downloaded and quickly uploaded a couple of test images directly from my MAC. It is a very simple little app and works perfectly the only hitch was that the images needed to be square. You can even add a caption and your hashtags.
After having used the application I did a little more research and found an issue. Once you have uploaded even a single image to your Instagram account your #Hashtags no longer show up on search. I experimented, took some pictures, tagged them with unique tags and sure enough they did not show in search. I have no idea why this happens or if you can get the situation reversed by Instagram. For me it was not a big issue, I have deleted my original account and am now using a new account.
BUT - if you had just done this on a business account, or a popular account where searchable hashtags are important this could be a serious issue.
It seems a shame that the users are being penalised in such a way - I guess Instagram sees it as a form of spam. I also feel sorry for the developers of the application, they appear to have done an excellent job. From now on I will go back to uploading blurry out of focus images from my phone!
The moral of the story is to do your research first not after you have already broken your account.