Web-Based User Profiles Come to Instagram
According to a recent post published on Search Engine Journal, Facebook-owned and operated Instagram is now adding profiles for its users. The profiles for the highly popular mobile photo sharing application will be Web-based and contain recent photos, a profile picture, and a bio.
The news should be of interest to SEO'ers and search marketers who frequently deal in photogenic content. For instance, if you are currently running a Pinterest campaign, an Instagram profile highlighting your business might be something you'll want to consider.
A Slow Rollout
Not everyone can access and edit their profiles just yet, as Instagram is rolling them out gradually. Even many of the profiles that are currently live, which feature "follower" and "following" counts a la Twitter, are still missing many of their photos. Overall, the layout should be quite familiar to Facebook users with a large banner image just slightly overlapped by a square user pic for each profile.
Interestingly, the web profiles are limited in functionality in comparison to the mobile application. Rather than allowing users to upload photos to the profile directly, Instagram is insisting that they use the mobile app. Interactivity is actually much deeper when you're viewing other users' profiles, as you can share, like and comment on each individual photo.
Since it's impossible to change the meat of your profile's content -- the photos, of course -- from within the profile itself, some might wonder why they'd bother with a profile when they can access the same content through the mobile app. The answer is that mobile devices, as sharp as their screens have become, still can't do an amazing album of photos justice the same way a larger-screen PC can. The new profiles will give Instagram users a way to browse photos -- their own, and others' -- without having to squint at a 4-inch screen.
There's no doubt that Instagram is also hoping the thousands of profiles will increase their web presence and convince visitors to download the app and start profiles of their own. Of course, it remains to be seen how easily these profiles will show up in Google.
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