We’ve gone over the reasons why you should use the web version of Instagram on your desktop: it looks great on a larger screen, and you don’t get ads or post suggestions. But running the social media app on the web has another advantage: browser extensions.
If you’re using Google Chrome (or Microsoft Edge, which uses the same code), you can use these add-ons to improve the Instagram online experience and make tweaks and changes that you sometimes can’t make with the app on your phone.
Switch to night mode
The Instagram app has a built-in dark mode, but the option is not available for the web version of the platform. The workaround is the Night Mode for Instagram extension which provides a beautiful dark mode that is tastefully done and very easy on the eyes. It extends to all parts of the Instagram web app, from your stories feed to the settings page, and it’s easy to turn it on and off. Also check out Instagram Dark Theme which is similar.
Control Instagram videos
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If you come across a music video on Instagram, you can click on the content to start and stop playback, and that’s about it. The handy controls for Instagram videos add a much more useful control bar to the bottom of the video clip you’re watching. You can skip forward or backward, go full screen, or even download the video to your computer.
Instagram for the web is not particularly optimized for a web browser on a wider screen, which is where Layoutify comes in. This extension increases the number of posts you see at once and displays your likes and collections on the web (which normally isn’t possible) and hides the stories bar at the top of the feed to provide more space.
Download high resolution images
The images you see displayed on the Instagram web app are not always the highest resolution versions of the images. This is an issue of the aptly named Hi-Res Downloader for Instagram Addresses. With just one click, you can copy a high-resolution version of an image to the clipboard or download it, and it also works with stories and direct messages.
Save Instagram Stories
If you want to save the stories your friends and family post for posterity, Story Saver is here for you. Once installed, you can open a story and then click the Story Saver icon in the browser toolbar to save it locally to your computer. The extension couldn’t be easier to use, and it also works with stories posted on Facebook and WhatsApp.
Add keyboard commands
You might already know how much faster you can get things done with keyboard shortcuts, and Extension for Instagram brings that productivity boost to the web version of the platform as well. Install it and you can move through your feed using the arrow keys on your keyboard. The extension also has several other features including interface tweaks and a pop-up mini-player for video content.
Improve the DM experience
You can access your direct messages through the default Instagram on the web interface, but Advanced DM Client for Insta adds many other possibilities. For example, by clicking on the extension icon, you can quickly include links and images from the web in your DMs. There are also several other handy tweaks, like sending messages by pressing Enter.
Use mobile layout
Maybe you want to access Instagram on your computer, but prefer the compact and mobile interface. The app for Instagram with Direct can help you here, by converting the web interface to something that looks like you would get on your phone. You can access and interact with your feed, stories, and direct messages just like you would on your mobile device.
View Instagram in full screen
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The Full-Screen Viewer for Instagram extension turns your Instagram feed into a beautiful full-screen slideshow. All extras like comments and likes are removed, so you can just sit back and enjoy the photos and videos that people you follow have posted. Double-click anywhere on the screen to pause the slideshow.
Quickly switch Instagram accounts
Multiple Instagram Accounts Switcher does exactly what the name suggests, giving you a quick account switching option right from your browser toolbar. If you have public and private Instagram feeds, or manage multiple feeds for work, this extension can really speed things up when using Instagram in a web browser.