Why Instagram’s Web Profiles Could Benefit News Organizations

Earlier this week, Instagram announced that it would be bringing its profile pages to the Web. Currently, Instagram has been a mobile-only entity, where users could upload images only through their mobile devices and browse friends’ and brands’ pages only through mobile devices.

Now, this is going to change, according to an Instagram blog post announcing the move:

“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.”

Below is how the Web profile pages will look for each user or brand.

I think it’s clear to everyone that Facebook had some input into the design, with the large Facebook Timeline-like visual bar and smaller profile picture. The difference, as the quote above notes, is that instead of a static image that a user would manually have to change, the images will change to reflect your most recent Instagram shots.

Now as a huge fan of Instagram, I was a little disheartened when I heard that the mobile platform would extend to a Web platform – I’ve loved the mobile experience and I like that there’s been a divide between mobile and Web. But the more I think about it, the more I realize how this will help news organizations expand their reach on Instagram.

One way news organizations will benefit from Instagram Web profiles is through increased content discovery. When journalists or news organizations have shared Instagram shots to Facebook or Twitter, for example, Web users have only been able to see that one image—so if a user wanted to see a full gallery of images, he or she would need a mobile device to see more.

Leading users to exploring more content can lead to three desired outcomes: likes, comments and shares. News organizations are on Instagram to build communities and then to engage these communities. Giving users a new way to interact with a platform can lead to greater opportunities for exposure to new audiences.

And finally, while we all know these social platforms are all about reaching audiences and building communities, there are monetary gains news organizations take from these networks, and Instagram may soon be able to provide these types of opportunities for brands on the Web.

AllThingsD.com has more on this:

“[T]he new profiles offer a hint of something we haven’t heard much of since Instagram came on the scene — a monetization plan. Now brands and businesses that use Instagram have a landing page to direct users to … This could open the door to more down the line, perhaps something akin to Facebook’s ‘Pages’ program made for brands and businesses.”

So what do you think about Instagram’s new Web profile pages? Share your thoughts with us below.