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November 05, 2012

Instagram Introduces Familiar Profile Pages, Similar to Facebook

By Colleen Lynch, TMCnet Contributor

Despite all the jokes – how people only use the service to take pictures of their food – Instagram has proven to be a popular and competent social media platform and photo-sharing service. So in following with its growing success, the company has decided to revamp its layout, but some suggest the redesign is strangely familiar.

As part of the new look, Instagram will now offer profile pages in addition to users’ photo collections, to boost the social interaction aspect of the site.

The problem is, in looking at the new profile pages, there’s something about their look that doesn’t seem quite so new: with the small profile picture on the upper left corner, and a banner of larger photographs stretching behind and across the top, the look is considerably similar to the profile pages of Facebook (News - Alert).

Facebook’s own redesign and inclusion of the Timeline feature on users’ “Walls” proved to be a successful move on the social media company’s part, and it seems Instagram is more comfortable using a proven-successful layout model rather than venture into unknown territory.

A screenshot of Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom’s profile in the new design can be accessed here, where you can compare for yourself.

Instagram’s new look was announced on the company’s blog, and so far has received 1,355 “notes” and counting.

“You’ve asked for Instagram on the web and we’ve listened,” the post begins. “Over the next few days, we’ll be rolling out Instagram profiles on the web!” – suggesting that Instagram modeled its redesign for the web based on what users want, and that happens to be similar to what they already get from Facebook.

The blog post went on to explain how the new features of the site work, saying “Your web profile features a selection of your recently shared photographs just above your profile photo and bio, giving others a snapshot of the photos you share on Instagram. In addition, you can follow users, comment & like photos and edit your profile easily and directly from the web.”

Sound familiar? Incorporating similar features to other social media sites like Twitter (News - Alert), Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook, the company seems to be doing what its users expect from such a popular app-turned-social-website.

For users wishing to see their new profile immediately, Instagram notes that “If you don’t see your profile yet, be assured that you’ll see it in the next few days,” and offers a list of common questions and answers about the update.

One question clears up the confusion about how much Instagram is planning to operate as a website, as opposed to how it began as an app. The question asks, “Can I upload photos from the web?” and Instagram’s official answer is as follows: “Instagram is focused on the production of photos from mobile devices so users are not currently able to upload from the web. We’re excited about how web Profiles will make it easier to browse and share content on the web for all our users.”

So despite all the upheaval of this news, Instagram apparently plans to keep its focus to the use of mobile devices to take photos, just not to share them. The Web may prove more useful for that – at least that’s what Instagram is hoping.




Edited by Braden Becker
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