Instagram users no longer need the app to upload photos.
In pursuit of international growth where networks are slow and data is expensive, Instagram has given its mobile website a massive upgrade that adds core features of the main app, including photo sharing and a lightweight version of the Explore tab.
The company is now rolling out the ability to upload photos through its mobile website. Instagram’s mobile website previously only let users view their notifications and feed, but now its mobile site looks nearly identical to its actual app. The company isn’t redesigning or modifying the desktop version of Instagram.com, though, so photo uploading will only work on phones and tablets for now.
he mobile web launch ties in with Instagram’s global growth strategy aimed at the 80% of its users outside the US. Other product updates in this vein include web sign-up, a better on-boarding flow for low-end Android users, and the recent addition of offline functionality. These helped Instagram speed through the 700 million monthly user mark. It added its last 100 million in just 4 months after averaging 9 months per 100 million users for several years.
Instagram told TechCrunch that the mobile site is “designed to help people have a fuller experience on Instagram no matter what device or network they are on.” With the exanded mobile web version, users can skip the app download’s wait time, data costs, and storage needs while still getting the basic functionality.