Instagram Ventures into the Internet, Making "Private" Photos More Public

By - Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Instagram announced yesterday that in the coming days it will be bringing to life a new feature, the Instagram Web Profile. The profile is automatically created – yours can be found by going to[username]. While many users have been asking for this kind of Internet presence since day one, equally many are questioning the privacy implications of such a drastic development. Recently purchased by Facebook, it comes as no surprise that the Instagram Web Profile is strikingly similar to a Facebook profile. Instagram utilizes a timeline-esque header, (complete with a rotating montage of the user’s latest photos) and a profile picture placed exactly where a Facebook profile picture would go. Instagram touts on its blog that this new feature makes it “easier to browse and share content. In addition, web profiles provide an easy way to follow other users, comment and like photos, and even edit your profile directly from the web.” Okay, so it makes Instagramming easier. What users are realizing, though, is that it takes away the intimacy of what once made Instagram somewhat unique. The mobile experience is what made Instagram feel more personal – even with Facebook’s acquisition of the company six months ago. BuzzFeed FTW’s Matt Buchanan notes, “I doubt that people will stop using Instagram, but I suspect there’s going to be a general if vague sense that Instagram has lost something. That ‘something’ is a sense of safety.” Instagram assures that, if your profile is private, “not everyone will be able to see your photos…only logged-in Instagram users you’ve allowed to follow you.” If anything, what can be anticipated is a swell of users switching their settings from public to private – otherwise, their profiles are entirely Google-able and viewable by anyone with a computer. While some users are expressing concern, others may bask in the opportunity to boost their Internet personas. Brands, specifically, are excited about the development. Companies using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest platforms can now have an equally powerful Instagram platform that is not restricted to mobile. This major shift in the company will likely make third-party web interfaces (i.e. Webstagram, INK361, Instagrid, Gramfeed, among others) obsolete, now that users can have a more streamlined mobile-to-internet experience. The clean gallery feel of the Instagram Web Profile may be just what some users are looking for. Text: Nicola Parisi Photo: Source: Buzzfeed and Instagram via Complex

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