There’s no shortage of apps that tap Instagram’s API to offer a slightly different take on the photo-sharing service. Take Gramatica, for example, which offers a beautiful way to browse Instagram on your iPhone.
Then there’s Instafeed, which was quietly rolled out last year as a “proof of concept” to glean user feedback before today’s official launch. In a nutshell, Instafeed is a customizable and curated Instagram client, one that lets you search for snaps based on topics such as ‘sport’ or ‘celebrities’, and create individual feeds based around it.
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Here’s how it looks.
Instafeed: Curated and customized feeds
Once you’ve connected your Instagram account, you’ll see a stream of theme-based user accounts.
You can actually delete a feed if, say, you don’t have any interest in sports. Or you can move it around to prioritize your themes.
Within each topic, Instafeed provides a hand-picked list of accounts which you can subscribe to – it’s worth noting here that these aren’t added to your Instagram ‘Following’ count. They only exist within the Instafeed app.
It would be helpful to view an account before subscribing, but this feature isn’t offered. You have to subscribe first, then wait until their photos start showing up in your stream before deciding if you want to see their photos or not.
Also, the curated aspect seems to be very US-focused at present. The sports section, for example, mainly contains teams from the NHL, NFL and so on, though there was a small section for international football.
Removing curation from the equation, you can create your own feeds from scratch. Hit the little ‘+’ icon at the top right, press ‘Create Custom Feed’ and then give it a name.
Here, you can enter any keywords, say, ‘Manchester United’ and add it to the ‘Soccer’ feed you just created.
Instafeed doesn’t actually reel in any of your ‘Following’ information from Instagram, given that it’s more about surfacing accounts you perhaps wouldn’t normally follow. So rather than replacing Instagram, it seems this is more of a supplementary service designed to work in conjunction with it.
That said, it would be good if you could create separate feeds for all those folk you follow on Instagram, e.g. by ‘Work’, ‘Friends’, ‘Family’ and so on. You can do this in Instafeed, but you’ll have to do it all manually from scratch.
There is some degree of integration between the two apps though, beyond that of logging in with your Instagram credentials. You can repost any snaps you like directly to Instagram, which is a nice touch, and you can post comments too.
If you’re looking to synchronize your feeds and settings across devices, Instafeed also features iCloud integration.
If you’re an Instagram addict, or just seeking to dabble a little and see what else is out there without messing about with your main account, Instafeed is definitely worth your time. It’s available to download for free now.
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