Instagram Goes Mobile

Instagram is expanding its reach and allowing users to share pictures via its mobile site. When reading the headline “You can now post your pics on Instagram without the app,” I began reminiscing on my high school days when I was first introduced to the social media app. It was my junior of high school, and Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr were the most popular social networks amongst the students.

Instagram, popularly known as IG, introduced something unique yet exclusive at the time, it was an app-based social network. Outside of the app, users could access the feed on the web through third-party applications outside of the app, but it had limited functionality. Most social networks began as a website before establishing an app. Eventually, launched, and there was more functionality, but users still could not perform the primary function which was to post images.

Seven years after the apps launch and four years after being acquired by Facebook, users can post pictures by visiting via a mobile browser. Although similar to the desktop site, users cannot send and receive direct messages, post stories or go live, this update can reach a broader audience. The ability to share posts outside of the app would be beneficial for users whose phone does not have the capacity to accommodate it or does not enable downloading apps. At times, smartphone users have to make sacrifices to apps when they have insufficient storage and have to prioritize. There are also some people who do not have smartphones; the update will allow that demographic the opportunity to join the movement. Individuals who are trying to save on data per month could also benefit. It would be interesting to see Instagram follow in its parent company’s footsteps and be offered as a ‘Lite’ option.

According to Erik Qualman’s video on Social Media Revolution, “Mobile drives over 50% of e-commerce traffic.” With more people projected to become active, and hopefully influential, on Instagram, brand exposure can increase, and business can reach and gain a better understanding of their consumers. Companies can also monitor current and potential consumer activity. Along with the ability to posts, mobile web users can browse feeds, profiles, and search. These users will be able to discover content that is shared by various brands of interest that utilize the app and engage with them.

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