Instagram Web Profiles Are Here

I first started using Instagram in November 2010, and it’s one of my favorite photo apps. The fact that it’s on my iPhone home screen is a testament to it’s draw. The clever filters designed to make photos look old-timey draw the ire of many photographers, but people love’em.

One of the overlooked qualities that set Instagram apart from other photo sharing sites like Flickr was that it was a mobile-only site. You could only upload photos from the app on your iPhone or Android smart phone, and you could only view and browse photos from others through that same app. There was no web-based interface at all.

That changed over time, and third-party developers like Statigram and Webstagram filled the gap, building web sites that used the Instagram API to let you browse photos and even like or comment on them.

Instagram has finally relented, introducing the Instagram Web Profile. This gives you an official web interface to Instagram photos, letting you browse, sign-in, like and comment on photos all from your web browser.

You can get to the web profile for any Instagram user by browsing to http://instagram.com/[username]. For example, http://instagram.com/jeffhester will bring up my profile.

When you click on an individual image, it opens the full-size image in a light box. If you’ve signed in, you’ll see options to like or comment on the photo.

You may notice that these new Instagram Web Profiles bear a striking similarity in layout to your Facebook profile. Not surprising, considering that Instagram is now owned by Facebook.

Is Facebook slowly killing Instagram? Does the new web profile signify the “end of mobile?”

Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a new path.

Comments

  1. says

    It’s more ways that your contacts can comment and interact with you, for sure. I love the simplicity of Instagram. You post and share. You’ve got some great, colorful pics!

  2. says

    I’m glad Instagram finally decided to offer this, although I feel bad and I’m concerned for the likes of statigram. Statigram not only filled a void, but built a business around the service, now Instagram is taking over part of those services. I wonder how 3rd party companies like statigram feel about this stuff. Reminds me of Twitter closing out or changing their API services for 3rd party developers *after* they helped Twitter get so big and popular.

  3. says

    What Instagram did makes good business sense. They could’ve acquired Statigram or other web-based interface. Twitter has acquired a number of companies that built great third-party apps that they wanted to integrate better. But frankly, building the web UI isn’t that hard. Building the user base is the hard part, and Instagram has already done that.

    What’s really going to be interesting is how Instagram changes as a result of their acquisition by Facebook. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come?

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