How do you repost Instagram photos? Do you use a repost app? Do you take a screenshot of your phone and then crop it in Instagram or a third party app? Do you take a screenshot of the web version of Instagram on your desktop? None of these methods are really ideal. The first adds a little box of text at the bottom (ugh!) and the other two options almost always result in saving the image at a lower resolution. Maybe it’s just me, but I think reposting a photo (with permission!) at a lesser quality is doing the original photographer a bit of a disservice. Their original crisp photo now looks like something you took on a 2009 flip phone. (Okay, I might be getting a little overly dramatic, but you get my drift.)
If you’ve got a newer (read: larger, higher resolution) smartphone and you screenshot a photo to repost, it’s not going to be that bad. But the image is still compressed at least somewhat when it is displayed(*) which means, once you repost, you will loose at least some of the quality. This is because Instagram will stretch your photo to fit their maximum size (which will be compressed again when displaying on your phone), which is what causes the pixellated look of a reposted photo. Take a close look at the four photos below. The top left is my original photo (as saved by Instagram), whilst the other three have been reposts. It might not be super apparent depending on your screen, but if you open the image in a new tab, you should see a big difference in the clarity of the original photo and the three reposted images (re-editing aside).
(*) iPhone 6/6S/7 plus aside.
For most images on the internet today, when you open them in a browser, you can right-click to save the photo in it’s original size. Instagram, however, won’t let you do that (which I think, for the most part, is a good thing). But if you want (or need) to repost a photo (make sure you have permission!!), there’s a better way to grab that image at full-resolution. What you need to do is look at the source code. (Not to worry, no programming knowledge required if you follow my steps below.)
[ Step 1 ] Navigate to your own Instagram feed (or whichever feed you’d like to grab a photo from) on your desktop web browser (http://www.instagram.com/username).
[ Step 2 ] Scroll to the photo you would like to repost and click on the image. Right-click (anywhere) and choose “View Page Source” from the menu options (“View Source” in IE, “Show Page Source” in Safari).
Note to Safari users: You’ll have to make sure that you’ve turned on the developer menu option. Go to “Safari > Preferences > Advanced” and check “Show Develop menu in menu bar” (at the very bottom).
This will open a new tab (or at the bottom of your page in Safari) with the page source (the html code). Don’t worry if you don’t understand any of that code. You don’t need to!
[ Step 3 ] Search (CTRL+”F” on windows, COMMAND+”F” on mac) for the term “og:image”. This will take you to the spot in the page source where Instagram has actually saved the full-size image (1080×1080 pixels for square up to 1080×1350 pixels for portrait). Copy the text inside of the content tag (inside of the quotation marks, highlighted in blue in the above screenshot).
[ Step 4 ] Paste the copied text into your browser’s address bar.
[ Step 5 ] Save the image to your computer by right-clicking on the image and selecting “Save Image As…”.
That’s it! Now just send that photo to your phone to repost without losing any quality.