On Monday, November 5, 2012, Instagram launched their Web Profiles functionality to be rolled out for all users over the next week. This is an important update, given Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in April. In addition, the Web Profiles functionality launches after a huge peak in Instagram use during Hurrican Sandy. There were 800,000 Instagram photos tagged with the #Sandy hashtag and over 1.3 million photos documenting the hurricane on the East Coast last week. More and more people are using Instagram as a tool to share photos of their own life – but search for photos related to the topics they are interested in.

Summary:

Instagram’s web profile allows you to view a user’s Instagram photos on the web – see a snapshot of Nike’s Instagram web profile below. Each Instagram web profile will feature a selection of a user’s most recent images above their profile photo and bio – similar to the Facebook cover photo. The Instagram web profile will also show profile information, including links included in the user’s Instagram bio and a grid of all Instagram photos below.

Looking for your individual or brand web profile? Simply visit http://instagram.com/[username].

Why is this important?

This is important because previously, people needed an outside platform to view Instagram photos, like Statigram or Webstagram. While this feature is exciting for all Instagram users, it’s especially important for brands on Instagram. Web profiles will allow brands to seamlessly connect their mobile and web experience by offering the community an online destination to showcase Instagram content. Brands are able to direct their audience to their web profile allowing their larger community to view their photos all in one place. The web profile functionality is also a great way for brands to build awareness of their Instagram account and grow their following.

For community managers, Instagram web profiles will make your job a lot easier! You’ll be able to manage your Instagram communities right from your computer, including following users and adding comments and likes to photos. A snapshot of an individual photo from the Nike Instagram web profile can be found below.

Instagram web profiles will be rolling out to all users in the next week or so. If you don’t see your brands Instagram web profile yet, keep checking back at the Instagram site.

Instagram photo uploads will still take place natively within the Instagram mobile iPhone and Android apps.

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