When using Instagram, the smartphone application has always trumped the website in terms of functionality and experience. The app is clean, concise and efficient. The website version seemed to always just be a placeholder in the event your smartphone wasn't around.
Instagram recently announced the ability to experience the desktop website in two new ways: by creating stories and saving posts users like. The camera icon is located at the top left of the feed. Pressing that will take a photo or add one from your library. Captions can then be added in a variety of colors and fonts. Once finished, just post the story by tapping on "Share to Your Story."
On the mobile version of Instagram.com, users can save posts they would like to revisit later. They can be accessed by selecting the bookmark icon in the top right of the page.
These updates are moving the website experience closer to that of a progressive web application, which delivers more smartphone app type functionality to users.
In order to be considered a Progressive Web App, the app must be:
Progressive - Work for every user regardless of the browser being utilized.
Responsive - Fit any form factor from desktop, mobile to tablet.
App-Like - Implement the app-shell model to provide app-style navigation and interactions.
Installable - Allow users to save apps on their home screen without the needing an app store.
There are other criteria, but Instagram.com meets all of the items listed above.
The latest update brings the website closer to uniformity with the smartphone application, but most users will probably still opt for the app version. The main reason, besides convenience, is the fact that direct messaging via Instagram.com is not possible. So the changes, while welcome, aren't going to lead a mass shift in how users access Instagram anytime soon.
Drop a comment below and let us know what you think of the updates to Instagram.com.