Instagram recently updated its mobile website so smartphone-free users can not only scroll through their feed, but they can post to Instagram, too.
While the majority of Americans own a smartphone these days, many folks across the globe still own cheaper cellphones. You can still connect to the internet on one of these, but you may not be able to download apps. That’s a serious bummer for those who still want to use social media apps like Instagram.
“Instagram.com (accessed from mobile) is a web experience optimized for mobile phones,” an Instagram spokesperson told Mashable via email. “It’s designed to help people have a fuller experience on Instagram no matter what device or network they are on.”
When you log into Instagram’s mobile site, Instagram now shows the same icons across the bottom of the screen that you’d see in the app. It also includes a prompt to post a photo above the camera icon. From there, you can snap a photo, edit it, and share it—all from your browser.
Instagram recently passed the 700 million user mark, doubling its user base over the past two years. The company attributes a simplified sign-up process and better ability to connect with friends in the app to its speedy global growth. In adding this ability in its mobile site, Instagram may have noticed that a percentage of users were accessing the app this way and had no way to share their own images.
The update also addresses a small but growing trend: those ditching smartphones altogether. A number of pundits have recently embraced the idea of switching from a smartphone to a dumb phone. Smartphones sap up our attention, distract us from important real world happenings around us, and pose a significant digital security risk. The negative of switching is you lose that social media connectedness. However, depending on what phone you use, you could still access options such as Facebook Lite—and now Instagram, too.
To be clear, Instagram still limits its full app experience to phones. While you can log in, browse, and like photos from the desktop, you can’t upload photos from Instagram’s desktop website. You also can’t use any of the app’s other features, such as direct messages or Instagram Stories.