Photo-sharing app Instagram has attracted more than 100 million users by encouraging people to snap pictures with their smartphones, dress them up with filters and share them with friends.
In the two years since Instagram launched, it's been a mobile-only network for an increasingly mobile society.
Now that's about to change. Instagram announced Monday it will be adapting user photos and data into Web-based profiles for people to enjoy from laptops or desktops. Each Web profile will feature a selection of recently shared photographs along with the user's profile photo and bio, offering a quick visual snapshot of someone's interests and aesthetic.
"We're launching Web profiles to give you a simple way to share your photos with more people and to make it easier to discover new users on the Web," Instagram said in a blog post.
Photos are expandable on the new Web pages, meaning your followers will be able to view your prized pics in a larger, 6x6-inch format instead of peering at those little square images on their phones.
"It strikes me that a quick, dynamic overview of your life in pictures is maybe even more compelling than the overall Facebook Timeline because it's so simple. Everyone understands pictures," wrote tech columnist and prolific Instagram user MG Siegler on his blog.
Users won't be able to upload images to their accounts from the Web, although they can follow others, comment and like photos. It's a big upgrade over Instagram's traditionally bare-bones website, which has contained little more than a blog and information for app developers.
The new interface creates a challenge for the ecosystem of independent sites that had sought to fill Instagram's Web void by offering browser-based platforms for viewing, liking and commenting on photos from the app.
They include Statigram, which gives users a detailed breakdown of data concerning their Instagram feed, and Webstagram, a more straightforward photo viewing site.
Instagram says its Web profiles will launch for all users in the next week or so. "If you can't see your profile yet, rest assured that you'll see it in the next few days," the company says.
Instagram also says that if your photos are set to private, they will be visible on the Web only to Instagram users you've allowed to follow you.
To see your profile or to explore a friend's profile, go to Instagram.com/[username].