Instagram begin rolling out web profiles for all users
Instagram, the popular photo-sharing social network, has begun rolling out web profiles for its 100 million-strong user base this week. Over the course of the next few days you’ll be able to view your profile, or anyone else’s, simply by navigating to instagram.com/[username]. Instagram are featuring some active example profiles such as instagram.com/mycookingdiary to demonstrate how the new profiles will look.
The new web profiles are reminiscent of Facebook’s timeline design, which is hardly surprising given that Facebook acquired Instagram earlier this year, for an eye-watering 1 billion dollars. Rather than selecting a cover photo for your profile page, Instagram creates an animated collage of your most recent photographs, which elegantly transition at random. It’s a nice effect, adding depth to what is essentially just a page of cascading thumbnails.
The thumbnails are arranged chronologically, with a user’s newest photos appearing first. When you roll over a photo, ‘like’ and comment counts are displayed, as well as the date the photo was taken. Clicking on a photo will display it at full size in a pop-up window, which hovers above the profile page. Comments and likes are displayed to the right of the photo, and from here you can add your own comment if you wish.
Your private photos will only be visible to you and any Instagram users you’ve granted permission to follow you. The remaining public photos will be visible to anyone who visits your profile page, regardless of whether they have an Instagram account or not.
It’s not the most elaborate of profile pages, but that’s kind of the point. Instagram lets your photos do the talking, in just the same way as they do on the traditional mobile apps. It’s a welcome upgrade from the previous web experience, which made it impossible to browse a user’s gallery of photos from one central location.
Importantly, Instagram have refrained from adding photo upload and filtering features to the desktop interface. These remain exclusive to the mobile apps. Mobile use is the main focus for Instagram at the moment, and I hope that remains true in the future. I expect it will, despite the introduction of web profiles, but we’ll just have to wait and see.Tagged in: facebook, Instagram, photography
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