Instagram has added a host of core features from its main app to its mobile website, such as photo sharing and a data-friendly version of the Explore tab, according to TechCrunch. Now users will not need the app to upload photos. However, users still will not be able to upload videos, add filters, send direct messages, and post Stories.
Instagram mobile website now is more user-friendly
Until now, the mobile website was only limited to checking notifications and feeds, but now; there is a striking similarity between the mobile website and actual app. No announcement has been made regarding any changes in the desktop version of the site, so the changes are only limited to phones and tablets for now.
With the new feature, the Facebook-owned platform is looking to make life easier for the 80% of users who are outside the United States. Instagram’s latest change aims to boost user engagement on the mobile website even if the data connection or phone does not support the app.
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Once users get access to these features, they will be able to use pretty much all of Instagram’s features even without the app, which might not download due to a weak Internet connection. These features also save users from the data cost of downloading the app. The website version also helps if a user does not have enough space to download an app.
More bad news for Snapchat
Tweaking features on the mobile website will also help Instagram stay ahead of rival Snapchat. Snapchat has not worked towards building a low-data consuming version of its app to gain popularity in international markets, notes TechCrunch. Thanks to these user-friendly features, Instagram Stories, a Snapchat Stories clone, has already gained 200 million daily active users, which is more than Snapchat’s total user base.
Such a focus on developing markets, where cheap Android phones are gaining ground with improving connectivity, could give it an insurmountable lead over its rivals. Instagram told TechCrunch that its mobile website has been designed to render a better experience to users irrespective of the smartphone and network they have. Just last month, the company announced offline mode for Android users as well. Such features have helped Instagram speed to 700 million monthly users.
Best solution for iPad
Along with making life easier for users in the developing world, the new updates also make Instagram’s mobile site the best solution on the iPad for now. The new features for the mobile site can also be used by iPad users because Instagram treats the iPad like a mobile device. Previously, users needed to download the Instagram iPhone app to share a photo from an iPad.
“It’s definitely not as ideal as a real iPad app (navigation is slow and the timeline doesn’t have an optimal layout like the profile grid), but it beats using the iPhone app scaled up,” says 9to5mac.
Whether Instagram will release a Lite version of its app like Facebook Lite, which already has 200 million users, or Messenger Lite app remains to be seen.