Instagram Images

This recipe uses the WATCHOUT Dynamic Image Server to display photos taken from the popular Instagram web service using an image tag, which is a simple way to group related images. The photos are displayed sequentially, floating towards the viewer as they spin around.


Images pulled live from Instagram using the “urban” tag spin towards the viewer.

It uses a Flash file that obtains a list of images using Instagram’s RSS feed, available from here:

where “tagName” is the sought-after image tag. This request returns an XML document that lists up to 20 images. One of these images is selected (by position or at random) and then loaded and displayed by the dynamic image server.

Configuring the Dynamic Image Server

The WATCHOUT Dynamic Image Server needs to be configured as in the “Uploading with a Browser” recipe. Then download the attached “” file, unpack it and copy the file “Instagram.swf” to the C:\DynImages folder. This file is subsequently used by the dynamic image server to render the photos.

Make sure the image server is running before proceeding. 

NOTE: The attached “” file also contains the source file (Instagram.fla), in case you want to change it. Doing so requires Adobe Flash Professional CS6 or later.


Download  the attached “” file, unpack it and open the resulting “” file in WATCHOUT. Make sure the show is configured with the correct address of your dynamic image server under Preferences, Control, Default Dynamic Image Server Address.

NOTE: The Dynamic Image Server must have internet access for this to work, since it pulls the feed and its images directly from Instagram.

To run the show on a real display, start WATCHOUT display software on a separate computer and set the address and resolution of the single display in the show to match your display computer’s.

Dynamic Image Parameters

The dynamic images used in this show all refer to the same “Instagram.swf” Flash file. They use parameters to select the actual photos to be displayed. Open up one of the “Instagram n” media items found in the Media window. Each dynamic image specifies the relevant parameters like this:


This specifies two parameters, separated by an ampersand. Each parameter consists of a name and a value, separated by an equal sign. The “tag” parameter specifies a tag being associated with the selected pictures. Given this tag, the “Instagram.swf” Flash file obtains the corresponding RSS feed (as descibed above). It then picks one of the photos listed in this XML document (which typically references up to 20 photos), downloads that photo and displays it.

The index parameter selects which of the 20 photos to display, with index=0 selecting the first photo listed in the RSS feed. If you don’t specify the index parameter, photos will be picked at random from the list provided.

Files attached to this recipe: