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Instagram grows up, releases a real Web site

The Facebook-owned photo property launches a Web experience that functions just like its iPhone and Android applications, minus one key element: photo uploads.


It's taken more than two years, but Instagram has finally introduced a Web experience that lets the service's 90 million monthly active users access and views photos just as they do inside the mobile applications.

"As of today, you can now browse your Instagram feed on the web -- just like you do on your mobile device," Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom announced today in a blog post.

Instagram members can today log in to to view a stream of friends' photos in a photo feed that closely mirrors the experience of Instagram's mobile feed. Photos are displayed single file in reverse chronological order, and standard mobile features such as double-clicking a photo to "like" it and inline comments have also been carried over. Unfortunately, Web site users cannot upload photos to, which means the photo-sharing piece of the Instagram equation remains mobile-only.

"Your Instagram Feed on the web functions much like it does on your mobile phone," Systrom explained. "You can browse through the latest photos of people whom you follow with updates as people post new photos."

The release, which greatly expands on the profile-only Web experience that the Facebook-owned entity introduced late last year, doesn't add any extra bells and whistles to the Instagram experience. So why the two-year delay? Systrom said that Instagram was previously focused on helping people see and take photos on the go, but now wants to provide members with access on "a variety of different devices, any of which may be convenient to you at a given moment -- including your desktop computer or tablet."

The tablet-friendly aspect is perhaps the most compelling side effect of Instagram's new full-featured Web site. Instagram users can now browse photos from any of their lean-back devices, Apple, Android, or otherwise, without having to sacrifice quality for convenience.