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Photo Sharing Service Instagram Rolling Out Web Profiles

kevininstagram

If you’ve seen a photo shared on Twitter or Facebook recently, there’s a good chance its been posted on popular photo-sharing service Instagram. The service, which first launched on iOS devices two years ago, has since come to Android, and was snatched by up Facebook in a billion-dollar acquisition eight months ago. Instagram has seen its user base rise to over 100 million, and now sees an opportunity to expand to a much-larger audience.

The Nike account is one of the first that the new Web profile has rolled out to. In the image below, you can see the profile page offers a view that looks like a mash-up between Facebook’s Timeline and Twitter’s profile page. Counts are shown for the number of photos posted on Instagram, as well as the number of users the account follows, and the number of users who follow the account. Below the header section, which is an ever-changing mix of previously-uploaded photos, are the latest photos taken by the account.

An interesting note: you won’t have to be logged in to Instagram in order to view Web profiles for most users. The obvious exception, of course, is for private users, but it seems that Instagram wants to make the process of checking out out photos from the service as easy as possible. The profiles themselves are void of most bells and whistles. When logged in, you can follow and unfollow users, and can also comment and like photos, but most of the focus seems to be on providing a Web-based avenue for viewing a particular account’s photos.

The new Web profiles are accessed by typing in the account username after instagram.com — the Nike account, for instance, is located at instagram.com/nike. Over the next several days, the new profiles should roll out to the rest of Instagram’s users. If you’re like me, the new profile hasn’t been enabled for your account yet, so you’re seeing something that looks like this.

This feature has been a long time coming for Instagram and many of its users have been clamoring for it. We’ll see how its received over the next few days.

— Shawn Farner

Shawn Farner is a Harrisburg-based tech blogger who has been involved in online media for over seven years. He covers consumer electronics, Web-based services, and tech startups. Read disclosures here.