Best way to do Instagram feeds

Instagram feeds are a great tool to boost social proof and have a stream of free lifestyle photos directly from your customer base. I know there are lots of apps and scripts used to serve Instagram feeds on Shopify stores. Some of them are loading feeds in real time directly from Instagram, some allow you to curate which photos are shown and which not. Some are utilizing popups where you can place a dot over the image, highlighting where exactly on the photo your product is.

These are all fine options, however I believe Instagram feed sections can be simplified, offering upgraded performance and a few other benefits. Here is how it looks in the Customize theme section:

Custom coded instagram feed, completely standalone

Inside each image content section, you can specify Alt tags, as well as link a product, which will open on image click.

Compared to other solutions, which serve images from Instagram directly, or from 3rd party apps' servers, it has a set of clear advantages:

  1. No additional requests are going and coming to/from Instagram servers. In an ideal world, all your assets are loading from native Shopify servers, instead of relying on 3rd parties, not only because it is more reliable, but it's faster too. In this setup the images are going to be served from Shopify's CDN, one of the best and fastest in the world.
  2. Often not all images from customers are highlighting the product in the best way possible. In this solution you're going to be curating your on-site insta feed, which allows you to pick shots with the most possible impact.
  3. You get rid of one more app from your Shopify store, which is always great. Or get rid of the script requiring extra API calls to Instagram, in case you're not using an app.
  4. You can link each image to a particular product it highlights, sending customers straight where you want them to be - browsing your products. You absolutely shouldn't link these images to Instagram as you don't want your potential customers go from your store into the world of instant gratification, where they're likely to remain forgetting everything about their intentions to buy.
  5. The design is completely customizable.

There is only one "disadvantage": you will have to update these images yourself, but in my opinion it's 100% worth it.

To download an image from the Instagram, you can use a simple service, such as this: Downloadgram. Just paste the Insta post link there and click "Download".

Conclusion

This implementation offers all the benefits of having Instagram feed without impacting your load speed. You will have to update the images yourself, but this allows you to select the best shots to highlight your products.