Instagram’s relentless charge towards being the photo app of choice across the globe continues.
The Facebook-owned image sharing platform looks to leapfrog its direct competitor,Snapchat,in the international markets by appealing to users in underdeveloped countries where folks grapple with constraint smartphone hardware atop poor internet connectivity.
Instagram.com web page for mobile browsers has been upgraded such that the layout looks more of the native app. The web application now works as the standard Instagram app apart from a few features that are yet to be added. The idea here is to reduce the computational load to accommodate cheap Android phones which are popular in the developing countries which account for a good fraction of the 80% of Instagram users residing outside the US.
There are people out there who are really enthusiastic about the app but cannot have the social media service running in there low-end smartphones for a number of reasons associated with third world or rather under privileged community. One of the profound reasons barring this humble group is the weak hardware and software specs of their phablets. Poor and slow internet connectivity in these places is nauseating. And even with the crawling internet data connection, the package is too expensive for everyone.
In addition, some phones do not have enough memory to house Instagram along with other apps forcing users to sacrifice more important apps to get the image messaging client installed. As a matter of fact, Instagram is one of social media apps that sinks so deep into your data plan. Even if you leave that, the internet data to download the app alone can be a problem.
Long gone are the days when you had to forgo one app for another or the masculinity of your phone dictated whether you used Instagram or not.You can now enjoy most important elements right in your browser using less data and without downloading the hefty app.
Until the change was effected, when you navigated to instagram.com there were only a few options available. You could only view your timeline, like, follow, plus browse your own profile and other people’s as well. But now the refurbished application looks almost like the native Instagram app and includes new Explore and Activity buttons.
Although you can run a number of tasks including ability to upload images, there is a considerable amount of functions you won’t execute like tagging friends, adding location, or sharing images direct from other social media platforms. You can’t even use some of the app’s elite features like the Direct Messaging feature for sending and receiving person-to-person messages, filters, not even the viral Instagram Stories. Posting has also not been integrated as well.
When reached for comments by TechCrunch, the company showed not hesitation confirming that the Instagram.com upgrade is a deliberate move to give everyone a fair chance to experience the service regardless of their smartphones or internet connection.
The new upgrade to the web application adds to the company’s global growth strategy aimed at 80% of users outside the US. The program has also featured web sign-up, offline mode among other features aimed at inferior Android mobile phones. As it stands, the program is paying off pretty well helping the app hit 700 million user milestone. Notably, of the 700 million a whopping 100 million has been gathered in four months. The rest is spread overs the years.
Is Instagram Lite coming?
Many social media powerhouses are now being mindful of data consumption and are giving alternatives in form of lightweight mobile apps or web apps.Just a few weeks ago Twitter launched Twitter Lite, a stripped down web version of the Twitter app, that consumes less data but does almost everything allowed by the intuitive app including ability to receive notifications. There is also the Facebook Lite and the newer Messenger Lite.
Whether Instagram will launch a lite version remains in question, but looking at the state of affairs, launching a low-bandwidth version would be a prudent move by visual communication app. Keep in mind that Facebook Lite has 200 million users to its name, a number slightly more than a quarter of mainstream Instagram app total users.