Instagram.com used to be a tool where you get to see the features of the world’s biggest photo sharing platform in a limited way but as time went on, Instagram continued to upgrade its mobile website to let you carry out other actions like “Like” and “Comment” but now they have added more capabilities that would make it easier for computer users to do just about what you would have otherwise done using the app.
Instagram now lets users share photos on its mobile website and basically opens up the Explore tab to web users. That said, you won’t still be able to create a new post from the web among other core functionalities like Direct Messaging, Stories and video uploads.
Until now, users could could only browse, Like, follow, search, and see notifications on the stripped-down mobile web site and desktop site. There’s still no posting from the desktop site. But in March Instagram began adding sharing from mobile web, and the Explore tab is rolling out there now. The features missing on mobile web are video uploads, filters, Stories, and Direct Messaging.
This was of course not an official announcement by Instagram which still prefers you download the app to get the full experience but seeing as internet connectivity and smartphone penetration is still very low in some parts of the world, it does make sense to gradually open up the web version to those users as well. Matt Navarra of “The Next Web” spotted this and posted his finding on Twitter.
The upgrade of the mobile site also makes sense seeing as 80 percent of its users are outside the United States. With this, Instagram might just be implementing the overall Facebook (its parent company) vision to bring services to users across the globe even without internet access as is the case with Free Basics.
Instagram announced its offline functionality for Android users and again the fact that Android devices make up a higher percentage of the number of smartphones outside the United States makes the plan even more like one geared towards growth and encouraging more people to use its app. The new functionality allows users to continue doing just about anything in the app even when they are offline and once they are online again, their activities gets updated in the background.
There is also the data usage concern which the mobile site can address as well among others.