Posting a photo or video on Instagram inevitably leads to likes, comments, mentions and friend requests. While your Instagram application does notify you of all these, there are alternative viewers that you can use to see your notifications in a more organized, eye-catching or informative way. You may access these third-party Instagram viewers on the Web or download them as applications on your mobile device or computer.

Instagram App

The Instagram app itself offers you a glimpse of your notifications on your mobile phone or tablet. To view them, tap the “Heart” icon at the bottom of the screen, followed by the “News” tab. Here you’ll find friend requests that have been made, as well as recent comments, likes and mentions since the last time you used the app. You can also peruse older notifications. To view Instagram notifications in real time -- and not just when you open the app -- enable the app’s Push Notifications feature. Tap the “Profile” tab on the lower-right corner, followed by the gear icon. Next, touch “Push Notifications Settings” to specify your desired notifications. Then, configure your device to receive and display the notifications.

Web Viewers

Logging in to Instagram on the Web only enables you to view, comment and like your news feed items, view your profile and tweak account details. Consequently, numerous third-party Web viewers have sprung up to give you more Instagram functionality on the Web. Besides many other features, Web services -- such as Webstagram, Gramfeed, Copygram, INK361 and Instagreat – provide you with Instagram’s missing Web notifications capability. Other sites, such as Statigram and Nitrogram, even gather your Instagram account analytics and metrics to help you determine things like your most liked photos and total number of likes. To use these Instagram Web viewers, you need to log in with your Instagram credentials and allow the viewers access to your profile and images.

Third-Party Apps

Several apps also offer more than the basic Instagram app capabilities on your computer and mobile device. They exclude only the ability to upload photos and videos, which Instagram reserves exclusively for itself. Like the Web viewers mentioned earlier, these apps generally gather the Instagram comments, likes and mentions you receive in an area that’s handily accessible with a tap. These apps include Retro Instagram Viewer for iPad, Padgram for Apple and Android mobile devices, and the Carousel and PhotoDesk for Instagram apps for the Mac. To use these third-party Instagram apps, you also need to log in with your Instagram credentials and allow them access to your profile and images.

Privacy Implications

To protect the privacy and copyright ownership of your photos or videos, Instagram disallows image-sharing among its users. However, permitting third-party services to access your Instagram account may lead to your images being showcased elsewhere on the Web. If that’s not acceptable, you should avoid using these third-party services. Alternatively, set your account to private in your Instagram app settings before enlisting them.