Instagram is following in its parent Facebook's footsteps and making its service much more accessible to those left out of its app-centric, data-heavy sharing experience.
The photo platform will now give users new functionality via the Instagram.com mobile website, most notably the all-important ability to actually share pics outside the IG app.
The new mobile utility could help in the effort to foster even more growth in developing markets with less robust mobile networks, which could be the key to pushing the Instagram past the billion user mark. The service recently rolled out offline functionality for Android users in a similar move. Facebook famously expanded its own massive user base by offering lower-data options for users, like Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite.
The functionality was first reported by Next Web's Matt Navarra, who received a tip on Twitter. When we checked it out for ourselves, we were immediately prompted to post a picture when we logged on to Instagram.com.
Mobile web users can also now browse through feeds and profiles, search, and even find posts on a watered-down version of the Explore tab, gaining a more thorough experience on the service than before. There's still no way to post on a PC or access DMs, though, let alone support for Stories or any of the other video functions — but it's a good start to bring even more users into the fold.
An Instagram spokesperson confirmed the new functionality to us via email.
"Instagram.com (accessed from mobile) is a web experience optimized for mobile phones," they wrote. "It’s designed to help people have a fuller experience on Instagram no matter what device or network they are on."