Change is in the air for Instagram…
Instagram, the mobile phone app that allows individuals to post filtered photos to the web, announced on Monday that they are expanding their reach and bringing Instagram profiles to the web. These web profiles are in the process of being rolled out, with some Instagram users finding that their profiles are ready for use while others continue to wait.
The social channel was initially created to improve the quality of mobile phone photos, which often came out “looking mediocre.” The app was exclusive to mobile phone users who were able to post their Instagram photos to Twitter and Facebook. The ability to share better-quality photos on multiple social media channels was a popular notion that many people jumped at the chance to use. Since the app targeted mobile phone users, there was very little point in having web profiles for Instagram users.
Some recent events for Instagram may have resulted in this decision to move more toward online profile management:
• Customer demand. Instagram users wanted to have the ability to control their profiles from a computer instead of their mobile devices.
• Facebook influence. According to Mashable, one of the most interesting things about the online profiles is their similarity to Facebook’s Timeline. A profile picture and a cover photo appear at the top of the screen, and the rest of one’s uploaded photos appear underneath. This is unsurprising, considering Facebook acquired Instagram this past September. Facebook also recently came out with their own photo filtering system, which seems to indicate that the influence goes both ways.
• Instagram’s recent milestone. As Hurricane Sandy ravaged the east coast last week, Instagram’s photo upload record was broken as thousands of people took photos documenting the event.
With these events and changes happening at Instagram, I am interested to see where the company goes from here.