Instagram, the popular mobile photosharing app/social network has announced today that you can now get the full Instagram experience on your desktop. For those not familiar with Instagram it is an iOS and Android app that allows users to take photos on their phones and then run the image through a variety of filters and post them to their profile on Instagram. Other users can like or comment on images adding a very social element to the whole picture taking process. Users use hashtags in a similar way to their use on Twitter. If you are wanting to see cloudscapes then search for clouds or you can click on a hashtag to see other images that have had the same tag attached to them.
Instagram had primarily been a mobile app, there was no dedicated iPad app, it was aimed specifically at smart phone owners. Towards the end of last year Instagram did introduce profile pages on their website which allowed you to look at your own profile and those of others if you knew the URL to access them.
With this new desktop version of Instagram you can view the images of people that you follow in your photostream and also like their images and comment on them. Perhaps the best thing about the desktop version of Instagram is the fact that the images are larger than when you see them on a mobile device and that means that they show more detail than the smaller versions that are viewable on a mobile device.
Instagram has some amazing artists who use the platform, if you don’t believe me check out June Courtland-Burke and the new version of the site is likely to enhance their reputations.
One other feature that I have noticed with the new desktop version is the ability to add an Instagram badge to your own website, similar to a Twitter or Facebook badge that encourages users to follow the person on whichever social network applies this feature should help build the profiles of many Instagram users. I think that this is also an indication that Instagram is not going to be subsumed by its owners, Facebook, who purchased Instagram last year in a deal that was reportedly in the region of $1 billion. I am sure that some of Instagrams features are likely to be incorporated into Facebook over time but it would be nice if the Instagram community could have a place of their own.
I normally spend a little bit of time each day going through my Instagram feed on either my phone or iPad, with this new desktop version I think I might be finding myself checking Instagram on the desktop more often than on mobile. The images are superb in their larger format.
So what next for Instagram on the desktop? Probably the most popular request will be some sort of search facility, hashtags are not links on the desktop version and this would certainly improve the user experience enabling users to connect with other users who have similar interests. There will no doubt be a need to monetise Instagram at some point and this will undoubtedly raise a lot of privacy concerns. One thing is for sure with the launch of Instagram on the desktop Instagram looks like it is heare to stay.