Instagram has updated its mobile website, allowing users to upload photos from the phone’s built-in web browser. That means millions of people living in countries with slow internet speeds (India, for example) will be able to access Instagram without needing a standalone app.
Previously, the mobile version of Instagram offered basic functionality, such as updating status, following users and liking posts. It’s also adding a lightweight version of the Explorer tab.
“Instagram.com (accessed from mobile) is a web experience optimized for mobile phones. It’s designed to help people have a fuller experience on Instagram no matter what device or network they are on,” the company told TechCrunch.
It should be noted that users still can’t upload videos or send direct messages, but the add-on functionality could help the company to increase its focus on developing markets with less stable mobile networks. For Instagram, it’s primarily focus has been to penetrate deeper in the Asian market – after all 8o per cent of its users are outside of the US. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app recently announced that it has over 700 million active users, up from 600 million just four months ago.
The spike in its users base is a sign that Instagram is doing enough to attract the right audience. Last month, Instagram rolled out offline functionality to the Android version of the photo-and- video sharing app. Not just Instagram, it’s parent company Facebook is increasing its focus on large developing markets. Which is probably why it released Facebook Lite, a stripped-down version of its app aimed at countries like India where the data connectivity isn’t up to the mark.