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Back in November, Instagram started making changes to its almost non-existent browser version, by adding profiles. This was probably due to Facebook’s recent acquisition of the exploding social network, in an effort to streamline its services. The new web based profiles are beautifully designed, with some styling and layout queues drawn from Facebook’s Timeline.
One thing missing from the web based experience though, was an Instagram feed much like one from the mobile app. Good news is that yesterday, Instagram finally took light of the much needed feature and introduced a web feed. Bad news is that it needs a lot of work.
Anyone can use and see the new feature by going to Instagram.com, and logging in. Right away, you’ll notice the feed look & layout is pretty much copied over from the mobile app and beautifully done, but unfortunately due to the widescreen nature of browsers, there is white space. Lots of white space. Seeing as how Instagram photos are square sized, there really isn’t much of a way to get around this by stretching photos to the margin without having to scroll vertically in order view the whole thing – so the white space was inevitable – but Instagram isn’t utilizing this white space for anything but a boring gray texture. There’s been lots of speculation on what Instagram will soon use the empty space for, with the most plausible solution unfortunately being ads, since the social media behemoth Facebook now owns the company.
Back to the functionality of the new web feed, you’ll notice that there are a few things you can do and a lot that you can’t. Right off the bat, you’re given the ability to view photo comments, like/comment, and click on usernames to visit their profiles. The downside of this is that hashtag functionality is completely non-existent, and there isn’t any sort of built in search or SEO on the web version of Instagram.. which is an important feature of the service for anyone that wants to explore new content. Another thing missing is the ability to upload photos, which is understood as there isn’t much of a necessity to take photos from your computer’s webcam/camera. A basic upload feature with an effects editor would be nice to post saved photos/images from your computer, but that sort of takes away from the whole Instagram experience.
Overall, the new Instagram web feed looks nice, but needs a lot of work to really make it a feature worth using regularly. We’re sure that new things will be added in the coming weeks since it just came out, and we’ll let you know the most important updates as they roll in – what features would you like to see on the web version of Instagram?
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