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Okay, in spite of the hate being heaped on by iPhone elitists, I have installed Instagram on my Android phone and have started playing with it a bit.

How can I get my Instagram photos to automagically appear in a public album in Google+ Photos?

Felicia Day, for instance, has a public Instagram album.

I can see, on my phone, an Instagram album (which was automatically created by the app), but there is no such album in my Google+ Photos. The options for the phone album do not include a "make public" option, and there's nothing in the Instagram settings. At best, the photos are appearing in the default "Photos from your phone" album.

I know that I can manually share them, either through the website by making a public album and moving/copying them there, or using the Share features on my Android, but I'd rather have something automatic.

Is this possible, or just a pipe dream?

(Cross-posted at Android Enthusiasts.)

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Have you tried ifttt.com? – cregox Aug 31 '12 at 19:18
@Cawas: I hadn't, but I see a couple of pre-built recipes that might serve. I'll check 'em out. – Al E. Aug 31 '12 at 19:36

Note: the email upload feature was recently removed from Picasa Web Albums. This solution no longer works.

I was able to solve this by using If This Then That (thanks @Cawas) and the email upload feature of Picasaweb. Because Picasaweb albums are shared with Google+ this gives me what I want.

Here's what you need:

  1. Turn on the email upload feature of Picasaweb
    1. Sign in to your account at http://picasaweb.google.com/.
    2. Click the gear gear icon icon in the top-right corner and choose Photos settings.
    3. On the General tab, in the "Upload photos by email" section, select the "Allow me to upload photos by email." checkbox.
    4. Enter a "secret word," 6-15 characters long. As you enter this word, an email address appears.
    5. Click the Save changes button.
    6. To email upload your photos, just attach them to an email message and send it to the newly-created address.
  2. Create an album in Picasaweb and make it public. I named mine "Instagram".
  3. Set up the Instagram to Picasa recipe on IFTTT.com.
    1. Set the email address to send to to be the same one set up in step 1.4.
    2. Set the email subject to be equal to the name of the album created in step 2.
  4. Take Instagram photos!

Technically, you just need a recipe that takes from Instagram and sends an email message, but this recipe explains why it works and gives credit to the source.

If you want to get fancy, there are a few triggers you can use on the Instagram channel to only share photos with a particular tag, for instance.

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The new Google Photos app for Android let users to choose the folders to back up.

Check how and when your photos and videos are saved to your Google Account.

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device Google Photos icon.
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon menu icon.
  3. Select Settings > Back up & sync.
  4. If "Back up & sync" is on, you'll see these options:


Choose folder to back up

Change “Back up & sync” settings - Google Photos Help

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Someone posted a how-to recently to do exactly what you're asking for.

You'll need a few tools to get started here, and luckily they are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This method uses Dropbox and Picasa3 to keep things synced up, and a side benefit is that photos are available from anywhere -- not just the device that took them.

To get started, you need to install the Dropbox client on your home computer. If you already have a Dropbox account, you can use the same login and you'll find that having Dropbox installed on your computer is a good thing anyway. Just visit this link and download the correct version for your computer platform. Install it, and you're done with the first step.

Next, you'll need to install the Picasa3 program from Google. It's a pretty good photo organizer and viewer, but what we're interested in is the way it can sync a folder to your Google+ photos. This is where the magic will happen. Visit this link and download the appropriate version, and install it. Windows and Mac users have it easy, but if you're running Linux you'll need to install Wine 1.3 or higher, and use winetools to install the bits from ie6 to get the account Oauth working. There's plenty of tutorials on the net for this, and if you hit a snag, holler at me.

Got those installed? Good. You're just about finished. The next step is to visit Instadrop and setup the Instagram to Dropbox sync. Instadrop is a web-app, running on Google's appspot engine, and is what makes this all work. You'll link the Instadrop app to both your Instagram account and your Dropbox account, and anytime you post a picture to Instagram it will get copied to a folder named "Instagram photos". All you need to do is link your accounts, and the app does the rest. You can do that here, and if you're the suspicious type, you can inspect the source code on Github and see exactly what's going on.

A couple final steps setting up Picasa and your Google+ album. Open the Picasa program, and click File > Add folder to Picasa. In your Dropbox folder, find the Instagram photo directory (if it's not there, upload a picture to Instagram to create it) in the tree and mark it to "Scan Always" (the blue circular arrow). This means that Picasa will hit that folder each time it scans for new content, and automagically import any pictures it finds. Click the OK button.

Now in the Picasa program, look in the upper right. You'll see a spot to sign-in with your Google account. Do that, and make sure the Sync to Web switch for the Instagram photos folder is set to on. Open your Google+ page, and make sure the Instagram photos album is set up to be shared with the folks you want to share it with, and that's it.

What's happening is that anytime you post a picture to your Instagram stream, the Instadrop web-app pushes it to the Instagram photos folder in your Dropbox. When your computer is on, Picasa uploads it to your Google+ album. Is it perfect? Not by a long shot. But it's a way to get that content merged without waiting for Google to have a public API for content posting and sharing on G+ from third party apps.

Note that these pictures aren't shared to your Google+ stream be default. Until we get some sort of G+ API from Google, that's not going to happen (at least not easily). But if you share your album, people can visit and check them out, and of course you can easily share a photo from the album yourself. Click on it and hit the Share button in the bottom right.

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