Intagram today took to its blog and announced that in the next couple of days it will be rolling out a new feature that displays user's profiles on the web.
At a time when most social networks and websites are clamoring to make money from their mobile users, Instagram is setting up shop in user's desktop browsers. What's the result?
A page that looks like a mix between Facebook and Pinsterest. There's the big banner Timeline-like photo, behind a smaller profile photo. Scroll down a profile page and you'll see grids of photos.
Instagram says the web profiles will feature "a selection of your recently shared photographs just above your profile photo and bio, giving others a snapshot of the photos you share on Instagram." People will also be able to follow others, comment on and like photos, and edit their profiles directly from their browser. All you have to do to see a user profile is type in: instagram.com/[username].
It's a feature many users have been asking for since Instagram hit the Apple App Store in 2010. Other companies, like Staigram, have tried to fill the void and allow people who view Instagram users photos as long as their account was not set to private.
And yet, that's not what some people may want. As Matt Buchanan from BuzzFeed's FWD wrote, "By exploding Instagram out of a mobile-only context in a meaningful way for the very first time, the bubble of privacy and intimacy that had been a hallmark of Instagram — however illusory it was — may finally pop."
It very well may. If your Instagram profile is not set to private, anyone—Instagram user or not—will be able to view all of your photos. Brands, like Nike (http://instagram.com/nike), will love it. Other people may not. That said, this marks a giant shift for the company. Even though it already has upwards of 100 million users, it's now able to fully compete with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Oh, we know another group of people who will love it, too: All the thirsty dudes on Instagram.