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article imageInstagram finally lets you upload images from your computer

By James Walker     May 9, 2017 in Technology
Instagram is rolling out the ability to upload photos without using a smartphone. It's now possible to add new images from the company's website, a change that will please users who've wanted the ability for years. It expands the service's appeal.
Instagram has traditionally presented itself as a strictly mobile-only experience. In recent years, parent company Facebook has been changing that, seeking to bring the rapidly growing service to as many users as possible. Old reservations about launching on new platforms have been turned aside in the pursuit of continued growth.
Instagram's web app has been available for years. Until today, it was a limited view-only experience though. The company let you browse your feed and check your profile but left out the ability to upload and edit new posts. This left the mobile app looking decidedly barebones, to the annoyance of people looking to add new photos without picking up their phone.
Recently, there've been indications that change is coming. With the launch of the Instagram app on Windows 10, it became possible to upload from desktop devices, albeit only those with a front and rear camera. The website update introduced today completes the transition, for the first time giving Instagram users a way to use all the core features of the app from their PC.
Instagram is now turning on the ability to upload posts from its web app at The site is optimised for mobile devices and is visually similar to the company's regular app. Instagram has also added the app's "Explore" tab to the website, letting users discover new content while browsing online.
TechCrunch reports that Instagram has given in to the user requests because a fully-featuring web app could increase the service's appeal in developing regions. The website doesn't need to be downloaded or updated and uses no storage space, ideal for people with aging Android phones and unreliable cellular connections.
The update follows the waves of other web-based "lite" apps that have launched in recent months. Social media companies are now relentlessly pursuing new users in regions that aren't yet fully connected. In these areas, a reliable product is key and not necessarily available using the primary app.
Instagram recently passed the 700 million monthly users mark, adding 100 million people to its service in just four months. Its extraordinary growth in the past year has surprised analysts and led to troubles for main rival Snapchat.
As Instagram becomes "Facebook's next Facebook," the parent company itself is capitalising on the trend. After attributing the recent surge in Messenger users to the launch of Messenger Lite, Facebook's evidently opening the Instagram "lite" experience offered by the web app will have the same effect.
The web app still isn’t complete and lacks major sections of the mobile app. Stories and Direct Messaging are amongst the omissions. Instagram won't be aiming for direct feature parity though, instead adding only the most vital components of its service to the streamlined web experience. You can access it today at
More about instagram, Social media, lite apps, Social network, Apps
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