Instagram on Tuesday announced its 90 million users can now browse their feeds on the Web, just like they already can on their mobile devices. To check yours out, go to Instagram.com and login to your account.
Instagram says your feed on the Web works similarly to the one on your mobile phone. You can browse through the latest photos from people you follow (and get updates in realtime as they post new ones), like photos by double clicking on them or pressing the like button, and comment on them directly inline. The company even says you can shrink your browser down to a single column to make your feed “look more like your mobile feed” but somehow we doubt anyone will do that.
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Here’s how it looks:
There’s also an ellipsis icon just below each image (bottom right-hand corner) which brings up a drop-down menu. It offers you the option to view the Photo Page (as you could before if someone linked to an image elsewhere) and a Report inappropriate button in bright red type.
The move today is part of the mobile company’s broader strategy of expanding to the desktop Web. Despite the gradual feature rollout for its website, however, Instagram insists that it remains a mobile-first social network.
“We believe that you should be able to access Instagram on a variety of different devices, any of which may be convenient to you at a given moment – including your desktop computer or tablet,” Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said in the announcement post today. “We do not offer the ability to upload from the web as Instagram is about producing photos on the go, in the real world, in realtime. On the other hand, Instagram for the web is focused on making the browsing experience a fast, simple and enjoyable one.”
It’s a simple, but functional experience on the Web that hasn’t added anything significant to the Instagram experience. Viewing and interacting with photos – either through comments or likes – all works flawlessly and in that regard, it should be seen as a success. Without the ability to upload photos and apply filters though, the Web version does still lack the key piece of functionality associated with the mobile app. Despite Systrom’s comments today, we wouldn’t be surprised if it was rolled out in a later update.
The addition of Instagram’s recognizable feed is a big step for the company – now part of Facebook – and should help keep users engaged with the product. It follows the launch of profiles on the Web back in November 2012, as well as the basic photo pages that arrived in June 2012.
Today’s announcement, however, means the social network is finally offering a similar experience on mobile and desktop, at least when it comes to consumption. As mentioned, the creation process remains mobile-only, and likely will continue to be as such for a long time.