After all the Apple hoopla, Instagram today announced it has revamped its mobile photo pages, both in design and function, for its 100 million users. In terms of design, they now have a more consistent look and feel with the Web-based photo pages. In terms of function, they make it easier for you to interact with your photos and those of your friends when viewing them outside of the Instagram app, but still on a mobile device.
Three months ago, Instagram quietly updated its Web presence to allow for comments and likes on what it calls “the new Photo Page.” Today’s move seems to align the old mobile site to the more recently launched desktop site.
The screenshot above is an example of how the new mobile photo pages look for an Instagram photo. The screenshot below is the same Instagram photo on the Web.
The mobile version lets you like and comment on photos directly from your mobile web browser. More interestingly, you can also go directly from the mobile photo page into Instagram with the “Open in App” button. It automatically launches the Instagram app, be that on Android or iOS (and maybe Windows Phone later this year), with the photo loaded into the main view. Once you’re in the app, you can do all the usual things, whether that’s checking out your profile page, exploring the rest of your photo feed, or just looking at your own photos.
While the new mobile pages are great, there is much more interest in the rumor that Instagram will soon be ported completely to the Web. It’s difficult to say when (or indeed if) that will finally happen, but given the additional resources, courtesy of Facebook, I’m thinking sooner rather than later.
In April 2012, Facebook announced its plans to acquire Instagram, but the social networking giant only officially welcomed Instagram into its family last week, right as the app passed the 5 billion photo mark. Today’s update is thus the first one Instagram is pushing out with Facebook as its parent, and we can easily expect that the biggest improvements are yet to come.