Since its launch, one of the things that’s been most conspicuously missing from Instagram is the ability to view people’s profiles on the web. They were viewable from within the app only, so if you wanted to check someone’s profile on a computer, you were out of luck. Thankfully, that’s all about to change, as Instagram is launching web-accessible user profiles.
The new feature was announced on the official Instagram blog today, which included some screenshots of what profiles will look like on the web. As you can see below, they’re extremely similar to Facebook profiles, with the prominent cover photo and everything. That’s not exactly surprising, since Facebook owns Instagram, but it might annoy some users who are already displeased with Facebook’s recent profile facelift. It looks like Instagram has avoided the trainwreck that is timelines, at least.
Beyond the visual comparisons, the new web profiles appear to offer a pretty full-featured version of your profile. The official blog post describes them thusly:
Your web profile features 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. In addition, you can follow users, comment & like photos and edit your profile easily and directly from the web.
The web profiles are still in the process of being rolled out, and some users are reporting that they’re unable to view them yet, but they work fine for us. Go try it out for yourself, if you’re eager to see what your Instagram feed looks like in Facebook format.
It’s worth noting that you won’t be able to upload photos from the web, because that’s not what Instagram is about, apparently. In the FAQ section regarding the new web profiles, it reads:
Instagram is focused on the production of photos from mobile devices so users are not currently able to upload from the web. We’re excited about how Web Profiles will make it easier to browse and share content on the web for all our users.