We always thought this day would come. And really, under the tutelage of Facebook, it was only a matter of time before Instagram had a more robust presence on the Web. The insanely popular social media service on Monday announced that it will roll out new Web profiles that are pretty much designed to look like Timeline’s cover photo layout on Facebook. There’s a bit of continuity here between the two, you see?
Over the next few days, Instagram will give each user the opportunity to visit instagram.com/[username] and see their most recently shared photographs, profile photo and bio. It’s the most barebones you can get — there’s no search button or explore tab — and doesn’t stray from Instagram’s core, which is all about sharing photos. But it’s a natural extension of the service and answers a lot of user requests for Web profiles.
Some examples are already up — @Nike, @MyCookingDiary, @CucinaDigitale — which give you idea of how everything is laid out; you can see the number of photos shared, followers and following. Photos load infinitely, just as they do on mobile, with a five thumnail across format. Hovering over a thumbnail will show you the month/day that picture was posted, along with the amount of comments and likes of a particular photo.
There’s a small follow button on each profile page, and each user has the ability to edit their profile directly from the Web. Instagram noted that it won’t allow users to directly upload photos from the Web, and instead keep its focus squarely on “the production of photos from mobile devices.” But even still, Instagram told The Verge that something like a news feed is being considered for the Web.
It’s a pretty substantial step in Instagram’s ever-growing presence. The service supposedly sees more traffic than Twitter (Twitter, coincidentally, is rumored to be introducing photo filters soon), which gives you an idea of Instagram’s immense popularity. Many users will still likely conduct business as usual through their respective mobile Instagram app, but it’s a good way (for brands in particular) to show of their photo feeds.