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article imageInstagram now has an offline mode

By James Walker     Apr 24, 2017 in Technology
Instagram recently launched a substantial update to its app that adds in a fully-fledged offline mode. You can now like, comment and unfollow people whilst offline, giving you an uncompromising experience even without a connection.
The addition of offline mode was announced by Instagram parent company Facebook during its F8 developers conference last week. It's intended to make it easier for people in regions with limited network connectivity and restricted data plans to use Instagram. Currently the app only displays cached content while offline.
With the update installed, you can use Instagram offline as freely as when connected. You can scroll through all your previously loaded feed content, browse the last loaded images in the Explore tab, consult user profiles you've previously opened – including your own – and revisit retrieved notifications.
It's also possible to continue engaging with the Instagram community. As you browse, you can like, comment and save photos and videos, all of which will be reflected in the app. You can follow and unfollow other users too, removing the need to set a reminder if you want to stop following a person. When you're next online, all of your offline actions will be synchronised to Instagram's platform, sending the relevant notifications to other users.
The feature is currently limited to Instagram users with Android phones. This is because the majority of people most likely to benefit from offline mode are using Android devices, often older models tied to costly or unreliable mobile networks. Android is still the prevalent platform in developing regions of the world so it makes sense for Instagram to initially focus on it.
According to TechCrunch, the company plans to continue developing and expanding its offline mode over the coming months, letting you do even more without the internet. An iOS version is currently being "explored," suggesting that any launch is still significantly in the future. It would make sense for the company to eventually bring offline mode to every user as Instagram's apps currently offer feature parity between both major platforms.
Instagram's offline mode comes after the launch of scaled-back versions of Facebook's other major apps. These have seen widespread success, both in the developing world and with users in other regions fed up with Facebook's growing feature bloat.
Messenger Lite has been credited with helping the wider service to reach the 1.2 billion users mark this month, giving many more people the chance to try the service. Facebook Lite has also been popularly received, soaring to over 200 million users in only two years.
"Lite" apps are currently a trending topic amongst big developers as there's clearly a demand for smaller, more performant apps that run well offline. Adding an offline mode to Instagram allows everyone to browse the platform irrespective of their location, further expanding its audience.
More about instagram, Facebook, Apps, lite apps, Android
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