When Instagram was purchased by Facebook earlier this year, the question that always seemed to be asked was: how will Facebook change itself to integrate Instagram, and not the other way around. And, indeed, Facebook did create a separate Camera app that borrowed heavily from the Instagram idea. But Instagram was apparently not content to just let everyone else rip it off.
It has put in place two new features this month that show that it has aspirations to be more than just everyone’s favorite photo app, and perhaps wants to be another social network.
Earlier this month, Instagram announced that it would creating Web profiles for each one of its users. Now, in order to help “link to and promote” those new Web profiles, Instagram announced Tuesday that it has introduced Instagram badges.
The badges come in three different square sizes, or you can choose one that says “View on Instagram.” They can be added to a website or blog, in order to link back to a user’s Instagram profile. They work much like the Twitter bird icons, or the Pinterest P’s.
Creating a badge is fairly simply: just select a size, copy the code and then paste it.
You can find your badge either by visiting your Web profile page and then clicking your username, and accessing Badges from the dropdown menu, or you can just go to instagram.com/accounts/badges.
The Instagram profiles display every users’ pictures and which can be shared with friends. It essentially serves as a Facebook profile exclusively for Instagram pictures. Users can follow each other, as well as comment and like photos. The profiles can be edited directly from the web.
One thing that users cannot do, though, is upload pictures from the web. They can still only be uploaded from a mobile device.
“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 wrote at the time.
All of this seems to be an effort to expand itself beyond just being an app, which is pretty ironic considering that most web based social networks, like Facebook, are trying to do the exact opposite. Facebook, in fact, has declared that it is going all in on mobile.
The truth is, though, that there is benefit to have a presence on both mobile and desktop. While it may be true that people are spending more and more time accessing the Internet from their devices, there is a still plenty of time that we all spend sitting in front of a computer, especially at work.
Since it started out as a mobile property, Instagram already has a leg up on all the other networks scrambling to catch up.