With the Instagram add-on from the HootSuite App Directory, streams of mobile phone photos from Instagram can be displayed side-by-side on the HootSuite dashboard, just like feeds from Twitter or Facebook. Users can then follow multiple streams at once and interact with them by liking the photos or sharing them on social networks.
"It's very similar to our native integration with Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn," said Mark Holder, director of integration partners at HootSuite. Instagram is the smart phone photo sharing app for iPhone and Android that Facebook acquired earlier this year. The app doesn't handle posting of photos because "the Instagram experience is a mobile experience," rather than a general-purpose photo-sharing service. But some of the other apps for multimedia applications do allow uploading, including those for Flickr, YouTube, and SlideShare, he said.
As with HootSuite's core application, the fundamental value comes from being able to manage multiple accounts from multiple services with a single Web-based dashboard, Holder said. For example, the HootSuite Instagram app makes it possible to share photos across multiple Twitter accounts, something you couldn't easily do through Instagram itself.
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HootSuite announced the App Directory in November with YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, and Get Satisfaction as the first integrations. Most of the apps are available for free, even with free accounts on HootSuite. The exceptions that require a paid HootSuite Pro or Enterprise subscription are SocialFlow, a marketing optimization tool for Facebook and Twitter, and HubSpot, an inbound marketing tool.
By definition, the apps in the directory are the creations of third-party software developers, some working for nothing more than bragging rights. The Instagram app was created by Min Li, a freelance Web developer. The one for Zuum, a service that helps marketers find the content that is attracting the most engagement on Facebook, was created by the developers of that service. Cazoomi, an app sync and integration specialist, created the apps for SlideShare and edocr, a service for distributing and tracking marketing documents.
Instagram app in HootSuite