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This article was published on December 1, 2011

Instalook brilliantly discovers Instagram photos by city

Instalook brilliantly discovers Instagram photos by city
Drew Olanoff
Story by

Drew Olanoff

Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for onlin Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email [email protected]

The Instagram API has brought us all new ways to interact with the service, and new apps utilizing its platform are popping up almost daily.

If you want to play games using Instagram photos you have Instamory, and if you want to create calendars out of photos, you have Calendagram.

Photo discovery using the iPad became awesome with Instamap. Now you can find photos around you or by city with Instalook for iOS. The app costs $.99 cents and if you’re an Instagram junkie, this is a must have.

Instagram is adding 1.5 new users per second, so there’s a lot of activity that we’re missing.

What’s hot in Berlin?

What Instagram lacks in discovery features, third-party developers have picked up the slack with apps like Instalook. It’s extremely well done and once you log in with your Instagram account, the discovery happens immediately.

Once you let the app grab your location, a mini map is populated by red pins notating the location where recent geotagged Instagram photos have been taken. Regardless of whether you follow the person or not, the photos will display. This is something that Instagram is lacking, having only the “popular” section within its own app.

You can swipe through a list of people on the top of Instalook, or the actual photos along the bottom. You basically have three ways to discover on this screen, unless you’d rather check photos out by city. If you tap the star in the top left, you’ll be shown the most geotagged cities on Instagram. Upon tapping them, you’ll be shown the screen you were just on, but populated with activity in that city.

From Instalook, you can comment and “like” photos, but unfortunately the app doesn’t let you follow new people. When you try to follow someone, visit their profile, or attempt to take a photo, it sends you directly to the Instagram app itself. That’s understandable because these are more than likely not actions supported in the Instagram API.

Grab Instalook to see what’s around you, and you’ll find yourself inspired by what others are taking photos of. It’s nice to get out of your own stream for a while and see what everyone else is doing on the platform.

Instalook