Photo sharing service Instagram just released web-based profiles for users, a long awaited feature of the once mobile-only platform.
The web profiles will allow people to browse Instagram users and photos without an iOS or Android mobile device. Users can leave comments, edit their profile information, and follow new users directly from their web browser.
Some of these features have been rolling out to users already, but never have full Web profiles been made available without the use of third party sites like Followgram.
Profiles display users’ biographical information, profile photo, a selection of recent photos, and a steady stream of mobile photos as they add new photos. The profiles look similar to Timelines on Facebook, which currently owns Instagram.
For businesses that use Instagram as part of their social media promotions, this change simply makes the media readily available for more users, particularly those without iOS or Android devices. It can also make it easier for those who already have Instagram accounts to find and follow more users on the Web.
Profiles will be viewable as Instagram.com/[username]. The Web profiles are already available to some users, and will roll out to everyone throughout the week.
Those who have private Instagram profiles will still be given Web profiles, but photos will only be viewable by those who are logged into Instagram and given permission to follow those users. Public profiles will be viewable by anyone, even those who don’t have Instagram accounts.
One feature that is still not available, however, is the ability to upload photos directly from the Web. Instagram remains focused on the production of photos from mobile devices, so this move might not actually draw in many new users to the photo sharing service.
Instagram currently has more than 10 million users on its mobile platform. The first Instagram app was launched in October 2010, and the company was purchased by Facebook in April, 2012.
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