Facebook Inc.’s Instagram has been boosting the web version of its application, catering to users in international markets who often struggle with expensive and inconsistent mobile internet service. The latest addition to the web product is Stories – one of Instagram’s most popular features, copied from Snapchat, which lets people post videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours.
“This year we’ve been investing in improving the Instagram experience for people across a greater diversity of devices and networks,” Instagram said in a statement.
The number of people accessing Instagram through the web, instead of an app, is growing, the company said. More than 80 percent of its users are outside the U.S., where the relative cost of internet and mobile data access is sometimes higher. Instagram’s focus on international growth could help it compete with Snap Inc., the owner of Snapchat, which focuses solely on more developed markets with more lucrative users.
Instagram’s Stories feature has made it attract audiences for longer on its platform than Snapchat, as per recent statistics. This metric has helped the Facebook-owned app grab more advertisement attention. Meanwhile, in the race for catching user time and raising viewership, Snapchat has announced the launch of exclusive shows from leading American TV networks, that would shoot with and for the Snap Inc app.