Instagram has taken pains to keep its platform without ad-friendly features. While brands are free (encouraged, really) to use the photo-sharing service, there are no built in functions for them to optimize these ads. But now, a hack is giving them this ability, as well as letting the average user run multiple accounts and schedule automated posts.
Obviously Instagram isn’t responsible for this. A group of Russian programmers, led by Dmitry Trachuk, hacked Instagram’s software to create the service, called Instapult.
Right now Instapult has a variety of options, giving users the ability to run anywhere from one to 20 accounts thanks to its software; prices run from $12-$39 a month (there’s a week free trial option, too). You also have the ability to add more than one person to manage these accounts with you; up to three people at a time can have access to posting from the same handles.
Because Instagram does not have a public API, the Instapult developers are using Instagram’s non-public API to create the tool. Simply put, this is not even a little bit sanctioned by Instagram proper.
The most obvious use of Instapult is for brands and advertisers who want to be able to run multiple accounts and time their posts, but many users would like the benefit of running two (or more) accounts as well. Your friend with the foot blog would probably like her own handle for food porn pics only; maybe your surplus of puppy photos would be better received if they came from a dedicated account. You get the idea.
“I think Instagram realizes that they are going to benefit from what we are doing, so they are not going to block us,” Trachuk told Russia Beyond the Headlines.
It’s possible that Instapult will be shut down, but for now, it’s in full force and ready to use for all Instagrammers. Really, it’s only a matter of time until enough hacks descend on Instagram and force it to widen its toolbox.