In a bid to become accessible to more people around the world and (hopefully) hit that 1 billion user mark by the end of 2017, Instagram recently added the ability to share photos, like, comment, explore, and more all from your smartphone’s Web browser. No need to download the app.
The newly-updated Web version was rolled out quietly over the past week, and it’s basically a stripped down version of the mobile app. The interface is mostly identical, the main differences being slower load times, no filters or editing when you post a photo, no video posting, and a pared down “Explore” experience.
Otherwise, if it weren’t for the “Open in App” icon at the bottom of the screen, you wouldn’t know you’re not in the app.
We actually first reported on this ability few days ago when we shared this useful hack for posting photos to Instagram from your desktop. The hack used this new mobile posting feature to post photos from a Web browser by tricking Instagram into thinking you were accessing the site from a smartphone.
Of course, that’s not why Instagram released this new feature. As the company told TechCrunch, “Instagram.com (accessed from mobile) […] is designed to help people have a fuller experience on Instagram no matter what device or network they are on.”
For people around the world whose network or smartphone storage options make installing the Instagram app inconvenient or impossible, the Web version will make photo sharing much easier. For the rest of us, it’s a convenient way to finally start posting photos to IG from our computers.