Share Your Instagram Posts on the Smart Doll Online Store

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Sat 2019/02/16 17:20 JST

When I'm looking for a product to buy, I always look for photos on Amazon customer reviews and Google image search so that I can see what the product really looks like - instead of relying on photos taken by the company selling the item as they tend to look like CG or heavily touched up.

Smart Doll product photos are all taken by myself on either the Sony RX1RII or my iPhone. Most of the photos are 2500px wide (right-click them to open in new window at full resolution) so that you can zoom in to see not only the details - but also the blemishes introduced by the handcrafted nature of the product. I have no desire (nor the time) to touch up the photos and would rather set expectations of what the product is - it is in our interests that a consumer makes the correct decision based on their needs even if it means they see a blemish that causes them to throw a fit and shop elsewhere.

If it's important for me to look at consumer photos - then it must be important for you too which is why we have the "Customer Photos From Instagram" section that can be found on all product detail pages.


The format of the Instagram photos has been updated to use the Instagram embed code that better highlights your branding and hopefully helps increase your follower count. However, do remember that while having more followers is nice - it's not *how many* people follow you but *who* follows you. Folks following you from the Smart Doll online store are more likely to interact with your posts rather than somebody who has casually followed your account from the Instagram app - and we all know how many bot accounts exist on Instagram ;-)

The larger format of the Instagram posts on the product detail page also caters for portrait/landscape photos and videos too.

How to Start Sharing

Getting your Instagram photos onto the Smart Doll online store is easy and the approval process is usually done within a few days. Just go to a product page, scroll down to the Customer Photos section and click the link which will bring up a modal for you to choose Instagram or YouTube - then paste in the URL (link) of your Instagram post for that product. From the Instagram app or web browser, you can tap on the three dots and tap on “Copy Link.”
Your photo will then go into a queue where I approve or reject posts.  We would love to see photos of you and your Smart Doll too! And if you are sharing your photos on Instagram, using the #smartdoll hashtag would make it easier for other folks to discover your goodies.

What gets disapproved?

It does not matter if you are taking photos on a DSLR or mobile phone and you do not have to be a pro photographer either. If you look through the approved photos on the website you will see a mixture of both.

The following are a few examples of what might get disapproved. 

  • Top of head chopped off like the Biohazard Corridor Scene
  • Some folks change the eyes (which is great and encouraged) and can be of any brand - but some brand of eyes don't quite fit our Smart Doll heads and look odd.
  • Photos submitted to the wrong product.
  • Photos that contain more than two Smart Dolls that are submitted for a single Smart Doll - this could confuse a newbie.
  • Accounts that are private - this is because we can't access your data.
  • Sometimes Instagram flags content as "potentially sensitive" and won't give us access to the data - not our fault.
  • You are free to submit your best shots (for example 5 photos for Kizuna) but I may only approve 4 of them to give other folks a chance to show their photos. However, you can submit more if you got Kizuna (for example) wearing something different from a different photoshoot.
  • Photos that include other doll brands - this is because some brands out there can sue us for "trying to use their brand to sell our stuff" - yes we have been contacted by another doll brand before with legal mumbo jumbo.
  • Photos with frames or strong filters. Actually, photos without filters get more engagement as shown in usability tests.
  • Photos with text on it usually get disapproved as it messes with the consistency of the display yo.

What's OK to submit?

  • It's fine for your Smart Doll to be wearing stuff not made by us - why not?
  • If you sell stuff then it's fine for your Smart Doll to be wearing (apparel) or holding your goodies (accessories).
  • What you have written for that particular post is not taken into account - so write what you want ;-)
  • It's fine for your account to have photos of other brand dolls - what you have on your account is none of our concern.
  • It's OK to submit the same photo for multiple products. For example, Kanata wearing a Field Jacket can be submitted to the Field Jacket, Glasses and Kanata product page.

What's in this for you?

As you are sharing photos on Instagram, we presume that you enjoy our stuff - thank you! Hopefully, folks will be able to discover your photos from an official source and follow your account. But to folks who say "that's not enough!" I say "Ow ok then - I will choose folks who are proactively sharing their photos and reward them with goodies.

Oh bugger

This feature is created using Instagram's API (Application Programming Interface) which can change without warning - and when it does we need to fix what they broke. While it's broken, odd errors may appear saying that your account is invalid or private or whatever. If this happens to you please let us know so we can fix it.

Also, if the Instagram link doesn't work then try stripping it down to the bare bones from


For a while, one could submit Twitter posts but we are having difficulty maintaining various posts from various social media platforms - so for now it will only be Instagram.

No social media?

Social Media is not for everybody - if you want to send in some selfie photos then just attach them to any correspondence from our team ;-)