To date, Instagram has attracted over 100 million users with its wholly-mobile platform. Now, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app is ready for the Web.
"We're launching Web profiles to give you a simple way to share your photos with more people and to make it easier to discover new users on the Web," Instagram said in a Monday blog post.
Some Web watchers say the move is a no-brainer.
“It strikes me that a quick, dynamic overview of your life in pictures is maybe even more compelling than the overall Facebook Timeline because it’s so simple,” MG Siegler blogged.
As such, “the new interface creates a challenge for the ecosystem of independent sites that had sought to fill Instagram's Web void by offering browser-based platforms,” suggests CNN.
Yet, the change is not without its critics.
In BuzzFeed, Matt Buchanan writes that Web profiles are going to leaving some users grumbling. “By exploding Instagram out of a mobile-only context in a meaningful way … the bubble of privacy and intimacy that had been a hallmark of Instagram … may finally pop.”
Likewise, Forbes’ Kashmir Hill predicts that the change will lead to “a little less privacy through obscurity,” which is what attracted some users to Instagram in the first place.
Ultimately, however, “the new product is good for Instagram,” insists AllThingsD. “Web profiles offer yet another channel for more user engagement.”
“Despite the massive shift from desktops to mobile devices over the past few years, there’s obviously still a significant number of people using desktops to view the Web,” AllThingsD adds.
Furthermore, “this appears to be a step in the direction of a more seamlessly integrated photo-sharing experience between Facebook and Instagram,” The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog comments.