This article is a crosspost from Nuwait.
27-year-old Kuwaiti Khalid Al-Mutawa is one versatile man. He travels around the world, runs Studenthub, a platform for connecting students with universities, cofounded The White Book for event planning, and most recently founded Plugn, a comment management tool for Instagram.
Al-Mutawa used Zendesk to manage his customer service on Facebook, Twitter and email. But since the service doesn’t cover Instagram, he wanted to offer an alternative to fill the gap.
What started as a personal solution became a full-fledged service, officially launched in February.
Just plug it in
In Al-Mutawa’s words, Plugn converts Instagram into a Whatsapp conversation.
Users, of which there are around 400, can register with their Google, Microsoft or Slack accounts, or they can simply use their email addresses to join. Once users link their Instagram accounts, the service goes through all their posts, sees who commented and enables admins to give access to other people to manage the work. Plugn also groups all comments together, making it easier to add notes and respond to comments as a team.
The app is built in partnership with Instagram. “Instagram requires you to build a prototype. Once you build it, you send them a presentation,” he explains. “If they like it, you tell them what permissions you want to access to and why do you need it to use their service.”
It has a developer's portal and guidelines for those who want to integrate with their service.
“Once your app gains traction you are entitled to be listed as an official Instagram partner on their website and once they see potential in the app they may negotiate further details for partnership.”
The app costs $7 per month for one Instagram account or $159 for up to 30 accounts.
How Plugn helps agencies
Al-Mutawa said they were mainly targeting agencies in Kuwait and worldwide, that run lots of Instagram accounts. Agencies are now able to track all historical interactions with their customers using a familiar messaging interface.
Superiors in companies can now gain insight on how their agents are performing by tracking their activities and know who deleted a comment and when.
Plugn provides agents with a daily metrics on content performance. They can analyze trends and changes, type of followers and content they post.
The founder hopes to generate enough revenues to develop it further and a public application programming interface (API) that allows businesses to integrate with Instagram without having to go through an approval process.
Al-Mutawa’s goal for the future is to expand globally and to bring on board as much users they can. He hopes to break even in a month.