Instagram has finally unveiled its web service allowing fans of the camera app, which has more than 100 million users, to engage with their photos on their desktop and tablet computers. Instagram has had its share of good and bad recently, with Facebook saying that its camera app was growing quickly against unconfirmed reports that Instagram had lost a lot of active users recently, following changes to its Terms of Service.
However, the one thing Instagram has been working on since it pulled integration with Twitter at the end of last year is developing a web presence, and today, the Facebook-owned camera app, which has been mobile first until now, is making it possible to get most of using Instagram on the web.
You can now browse your photos on the web, see the photo streams of those you follow and engage in the conversation around those pictures. It is a really welcome addition and is likely to dramatically boost the time people spend using Instagram.
In a blog post, Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, said that at its core, Instagram remained about taking photos on-the-go, but the move to the web was about making it more accessible and delivering the “awesome web presence” that he talked about in December.
Sadly, what it doesn’t do is allow you to “upload from the web”. That is surely a mistake. Systrom makes a valid point about Instagram being primarily about producing photos on-the-go, but too often you take a bunch of photos and don’t get around to Instagraming as many as you would like to.
It would be so handy to play with pictures afterwards on the web. That is called editing and really you don’t always want to do that “on-the-go” and in real-time.
Here’s what Systrom had to say: “Today, I’m very excited to announce the launch of a product we’ve been wanting to build for quite some time now. Since our launch in October of 2010, we’ve focused on building a simple app that has inspired creativity while capturing everyday moments through the lens of your mobile phone.
“In fact, our focus on building out a mobile-only experience is a unique path that we’ve chosen for many reasons, the most important of which is that Instagram, at its core, is about seeing and taking photos on-the-go.
“However, to make Instagram even more accessible to our growing community, at the end of last year we started to expand to the desktop web, giving you the ability to see profiles frominstagram.com. To continue that path, as of today, you can now browse your Instagram feed on the web just like you do on your mobile device. Go toinstagram.comand log in to your account to give it a try.
“Your Instagram Feed on the web functions much like it does on your mobile phone. You can browse through the latest photos of people whom you follow with updates as people post new photos. ‘Like’ photos by double-clicking on them or pressing the like button. Or, engage in a conversation around a photo with inline commenting.
“Browse through pages of the most recent images to keep up on what’s happening with the people you follow in real time. And shrink your browser down to a single column for your feed to look more like your mobile feed. Simply put, we’ve brought a simple, powerful, and beautiful Instagram browsing experience to the web.
“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. 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 real time.
“On the other hand, Instagram for the web is focused on making the browsing experience a fast, simple and enjoyable one.”