Tommy Ku Photography

PESOS my Instagram stories

PESOS is an IndieWeb idea to Publish Elsewhere, Syndicate (to your) Own Site. Even since I had stopped my daily posting to Instagram, I have begun looking for alternative platform to share my work. Until then, a lot of my newer works were posted as Instagram stories via the Instagram mobile app. One exploratory way of moving away from Instagram is to try automatically migrating contents I post on Instagram to my photo blog (here), which means implementing the concept of PESOS to this site.

Instagram-ish stories bar
Instagram-ish stories bar

Use Osintgram to download stories

Datalux/Osintgram is a tool allowing users to download various data like posts and stories from Instagram that's unavailable by Instagram's own API. When downloading my posts to generate the yearly post summary I used Instagram's Basic Display API and that was good enough. However to download stories on a daily it's easier to use Osintgram.

Both static and video stories can be downloaded into JPG and MP4 formats and stored to a local folder. These stories can be fed into a pipeline to regulary update my website with the latest stories.

Instagram story
Sample of Instagram story downloaded

One shortcoming of this approach is the lack of story timestamp. The only information available is a story ID that is not convertible to timestamp information. Also, dedicated long-running machine like my NAS is required to execute this scheduled job to download the stories, unless this is somehow packaged into a package runnable on some serverless platform.

Web layout for IG Stories

I tried integrating the stories bar on this post but it seems quite troublesome to do so. To re-create the web layout of Instagram on a web setting, all the animations and quality of life layout widgets like timer had been excluded as well. As a web developer these are not difficult to make, but for a low-traffic component that I don't really care enough about, this is good enough.

To see the stories in action go to this page.

Instagram-ish stories bar
Instagram-ish stories bar

Instead of this style that replicates Instagram, I feel like the "gem" style fits my site better, so I made another one here.

Gem-ish stories bar
Gem-ish stories bar

Anyhow, both were created in a short period of time before I began losing interest. Stories on social media can be something personal, so after some internal struggle I have decided to put the project on hold for now.

The idea of stories is simply one of many ways that Instagram use to milk the attention out of the people. While I am keen to share my work on a consistent platform, I don't like the idea to replicate stories on this photo blog simply for the sake of replacing Instagram, as my goal doesn't align with Instagram's.