Instagram today announced their new web profile pages and informed users that they will slowly begin the transition of their accounts to adopt the new web profile view. Its come as a shock and certainly one that has social media commentators clamouring for their new pages to see the detail of what is on offer.
For those that are unaware, Instagram is the highly successful smartphone application that enjoyed runaway success recently – and then even more so when it was purchased by Facebook. The application is a a micro blogging tool of sorts in that its primary focus is to share snaps from your smartphone in a stream. Users can follow others and share the photo’s as well as ‘like’ functions and even some rudimentary editing and special effects.
The new style that is being applied will clearly appeal to the visual brands, especially those like Nike (check out http://www.instagram.com/nike ) for their offering. The latest is listed below.
Many users will recognise the suite of features, styles and information that is available already on their mobile application, only via the web. Previously, this was only accessible through the mobile application and other users could not see the information via the web. The photo layout is very nice indeed, the photo’s have been done justice and are presented beautifully for all to see. The chronological order of the images is very much in the Facebook timeline style. Other users can also add comments and the now famous ‘Like’ feature.
Another key feature, like the banner image that goes across the top of your profile page (very similar again to Facebook and Twitter now), however, the coolest part is the continuous scroll of images. This is very cool indeed and gives the nice ‘update’ style that may keep people wanting to revisit to see the latest on their favourite friend profiles. Very dynamic indeed.
You will be able to find your profile through the typical URL style: http://instagram.com/your user name which will be something you can market if you are a business, or easily found for friends. There is clearly a push for more user engagement, the new interface is practically begging people to come and look at the web version and interact. Its a great update and gives emphasis to the new ‘visual appeal’ of the more modern user interfaces that many websites are lacking.
The opportunities for brands is clearly a major one and no doubt others, who generally favour the high imagery in their marketing style. Interestingly, the new style is remarkably similar to Facebook, which is not really a surprise when you consider their new owner. I’ve noticed as well that it has a style that is very similar to Pinstagram as well. One might suggest this is really aimed right at the competitor who is another image sharing microblog site. Hopefully this is where the monetisation of the platform can eventually be realised. Offering brands the opportunity to create visually impactful profile pages to direct their users to will be a great opportunity.
At this stage, Instagram doesn’t allow you to upload pictures via the website, and new images must be put up through the mobile application, which gives the Pinstagram competitor a bit of an edge. How much integration can be made with Facebook may tilt the favour back towards Instagram however – time will tell. I can’t wait to see how the latest update to the tablet (iPad) version will look as well.