Instagram has been a bit of a closed mobile system since its very inception. Sure, you could see profiles and images in any web browser, but the experience was less than ideal. Well, Instagram has recently initiated a series of updates to its web interface to make the experience of using Instagram on the web a bit more ideal.
It all began last week with the addition of the new ‘Notifications’ tab in the browser. This Facebook-esq feature does exactly what it sounds like it does, gives you a place to see all of your recent notifications for likes, followers, comments, etc.
The new notifications drop down appears as a comment bubble with a heart inside of it, and resides on the top menu bar right next to your profile link. To see your notifications you simply click on the icon and the notifications drop down will appear below. A simple feature that really helps to improve the web experience of the platform.
The other feature that Instagram added in the last week to their web interface is the new ‘Explore’ tab, which was developed to help make personalized suggestions about people you may want to follow. So far my personal explore tab has been filled with people I know from other social networks, people from facebook, twitter, etc. But you can also get suggestions based on people you follow.
The only thing missing at this point is the ability to actually upload images or video via the web interface, and there are no signs that the company has any plans to add that ability any time soon. The mobile upload experience has been an integral part of Instagram since it was developed, but until the web interface gains this ability, it will continue to be underused.
That said, the changes that were made this week have gone a long way towards improving the browser experience, which is nice to see.