A while ago I reviewed and recommended Instamate, not just to get it for online marketing but also to anyone who wishes to work on Instagram using their desktop. It is a handy social media organising tool. Now Instamate V2 is out with new look and more handy options. Today I'd like to share this new release with you.
Looks like it's still in the live-test period at the time of writing this (early March 2017) and some features are still work in progress. For example the video uploads are not just enabled yet, and I couldn't post a photo for a few hours earlier today due to some maintenance, so I used the old version of Instamate instead.
Version 2 and New Chrome Extension
An existing Instamate user or anyone who's purchasing it from this link will be automatically directed to install a new Chrome extension for V2. Then to the brand new Instamate V2 website URL, http://v2.instamate.com.
Both the extensions (Instamate V1 and V2) will stay enabled, with V2 being active primarily. You might want to keep the old extension for a while. When I discovered I could not post a photo, I needed to (1) disable V2 extension and make sure V1 extension was enabled, then to (2) restart Chrome browser. Otherwise the previous version of Instamate would not reappear.
The New Interface
Instamate V2.0 certainly has an updated look with a black menu bar to the left. And to the right of the screen, very small "Contact Support" tab is sat discreetly.
The menu is a drop-down style by category, with subcategories under each dropdown. The categories are;
- Trending on Instagram: what's on trend at the very time you're checking.
- Instagram Finder: keywords in the search box will find popular relevant hashtags as well as popular users for you. You can send a direct message to each user from here.
- Discover: keywords in the search box will find the most popular relevant posts.
- Popular Tags: list of popular hashtags by category. This section is now expanded with more detailed categories - see below.
- Twitter Trends: the current Twitter trends can be searched by location - by city, country, or worldwide trends.
- Bookmarks: whatever the posts or users on Instagram that you've bookmarked will be listed here.
Post On Instagram:
A couple of new sub-categories are added here. One is to post Instagram Stories, and the other one is to post videos (Hurahhh! Overdue.)
"Instagram Stories" is a great 'disposable posting' feature on Instagram to keep your followers connected, appears like a slideshow for 24 hours only, then disappear afterwards.
- Post On Instagram: Post photos
- Instagram Stories: as explained above.
- Post Video: It's easy to drag any existing video stored in your computer and press "post", but we must remember the maximum length of the video Instagram allows is 60 seconds. It will come up with an error message and the video & caption message will be left unposted, if longer than 60 secs.
- Scheduled Posts: any scheduled posts are listed here, but this page needs to be open at the scheduled time. This is one disappointing element of Instamate; you can schedule posts for months ahead, but cannot sit back and forget about it. If this particular page is not open in your Chrome browser at the scheduled time, you'll miss the posting. I previously assumed it was a technical issue but that's not the case. Now Instagram offers a premium membership (see below) for hefty $37 per month, which will enable you to schedule-post without the page opened.
- Scheduled Post Log: but the good news is this new feature - to help a little with your "missed posts". With the previous version, if you had missed a scheduled post due to the page not open, the post would have completely disappeared from the system and you couldn't have retrieved it. This section in V2 will show all your missed posts, so you know what you've missed and makes it easy for you to re-schedule.
- My Posts: this page is just a reflection of your Instagram account, showing all your posts.
- Inbox: You can view all the incoming direct messages at a glance in this section, which I think is useful. You can reply to each message from here. If you want to send a new message to someone, click "Start a conversation" button - it will direct you to "Instagram Finder" section (under "Content Discovery" category above). You can search by username and send a message from there.
There are 6 sub-categories under this section, (1) Training (2) Image Editor (3) VIP Training (4) Link Cloaker (5) Youzign (6) Chrome Extension.
(1) Training platform is not just ready yet (as of March 2017).
(2) Image Editor (3) VIP Training (4) Link Cloaker are part of the premium service. You can either become a premium member (by paying $37 per month or $347 per year), or pay one-off fee to each service. If you ever consider using any of these 3 features, it's probably cheaper to pay one-off individually in a long term. Image Editor $37 + VIP Training $37 + Link Cloaker $27 = $101 in total. Still quite hefty but less than 3 months' worth of membership fee.
By the way if you have your own website and use WordPress, Pretty Link Lite is a free link cloaker that cloaks an affiliate link.
(5) Youzign section is a new integration service that connects to an image design program Youzign using API. Presumably this replaces Pixabay that was part of the Instamate V1 platform, but Youzign itself is a premium service ($120 per year).
(6) Chrome Extension is just a link to the extension page.
Help & Support
The "Help & Support" in the menu takes you to the knowledge base (FAQ) page, which has recently been re-developed. The headings are clear and easy to navigate. And if you can't find the answer you're looking for, you can send a support ticket to Helpdesk from here.
You can also access the support by clicking the purple "Contact Support" tab at the right-hand side of the screen anytime.
The contact form is pretty versatile. Choose a support category from the dropdown list ("Question or Doubt" "Bug Report" "License Key Delivery" "Refund" "Feature Request or Suggestion" or "Other").
You may attach a file such as supporting document or screenshot of an error. And your message will be in a rich-text format. Also for a refund request, there's a box to put your purchase transaction ID.
List of Popular Tags
The list is much bigger than the previous version. I find it useful because you don't always find a bunch of all-relevant hashtags by Googling. There are some useful hashtag-finder sites elsewhere, but you often find duplicates, irrelevant hashtags, or tags containing a name of popular celebrities such as Justin Bieber or Katy Perry - suggestion to get your post noticed. The list in Instamate contains only the most relevant and most popular hashtags.
Popular / General / Selfies / Girls / Guys / Love / Friends / Good Morning / Good Night / Party / Birthday / Wedding / Thanksgiving / Halloween / Christmas / New Years Day / Holidays
General / Babies / KidsArt / Photography TagsArt / Photography / HDR / Black & White / Minimalism / Abstract / Instagram
Architecture / Street Art / VSCO / VSCO 2
General / Dessert / Drinks / Coffee / Tea
Fashion / Fashion (Girls) / Fashion (Guys) / OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) / Nails / Hair / Makeup / Jewelry / Bracelets / Earrings / High Heels / Sneakers / Tattoos / Piercings
One Direction / Justin Bieber / Taylor Swift / Katy Perry / Liam Payne / Niall Horan / Louis Tomlinson / Zayn Malik / Harry Styles / Lil Wayne / Drake / Selena Gomez / Miley Cyrus / Demi Lovato / Ariana Grande / Chris Brown / Rihanna / Austin Mahone / 5 Seconds Of Summer
Music / Movies / Books / Video Games
General / iPhone / Android
FSLC (Follow, Shoutout, Like, Comment) / Follow / Shoutout / Like / Comment
Travel / Cars / Motorcycles / Skateboarding / Health & Fitness / Bodybuilding / Sports / Running / Dance / Cheerleading / Gymnastics / Basketball / Soccer / Football / Baseball / Hockey / Super Bowl / Seattle Seahawks / Denver Broncos / San Francisco 49ers / Baltimore Ravens
School / Work / Funny / Quotes & Comments / Throwback Thursday / Instagram Direct / Tumblr / Kik / Snapchat / Ask.fm / Money / Colors / Spiritual / Hijab
Instamate Version 2
As I mentioned in my previous post, Luxury Edition of Instamate is the most efficient option. $47 one-off payment is well-worth spending in my opinion. Get the original version and you'll be automatically directed to Version 2 installation.
NOt working as designed. Have opened a support ticket and no response
Hi Louis, it seems to be working fine on me – not perfectly though, some features no longer work, and it’s been a couple of years (?) since Instamate stopped its service to new customers. I’m just glad that the tool is still alive! Thanks for your comment.
It’s good that I can upload videos, but I don’t like the dropdown menu. I wish all the features were free but I guess the guys got to make extra money. I use it every day. Mostly to repost someone else’s grams but why not. They get a credit, I get a credit.
Hi Taku, thanks for sharing your thoughts, I must agree I’m not too keen on the dropdown menu… It doesn’t make a split second of difference but you click a main category and wait for the subcategories to appear – I see what you mean it’s a bit cumbersome. Yes it’s great you can post videos as well as Instagram Story. I do too, repost someone else’s often just like Tumblr which is good when I’m inspired by them, not just leave a “like” in their post and forget about it, but reposting will remind me again & again.