A new discovery suggests that Instagram is working on improving its experience on the web. The popular photography network added the ability to comment on and like photos from the browser several weeks ago, and a “View Profile” option was spotted in the wild today by web designer Cole Reinke. While the new menu option returned a 404 error, the finding reveals that Instagram is indeed developing a more full-featured web app for its users.
There’s a plethora of third-party web apps like Webstagram, but as the largest mobile-only social network in existence, an official Instagram web app would be huge.
You can currently edit your Instagram profile settings and permissions on the web, but there’s no built-in viewer beyond the ability to view a linked photo. You can’t click on a profile and view more photos or browser your feed. Instagram’s iPhone and Android apps are the only clients able to upload photos directly, while there are many third-party clients that let you view and interact with your account.
What makes Reinke’s find even more interesting is that MG Siegler of TechCrunch fame (who is known to have close relationships with the Instagram team) responded with a “yup” when asked by Reinke if he thought the profile view option was coming.
Facebook is in the process of buying Instagram, so that adds another level of complexity to the mix. Will Instagram eventually be somehow integrated into Facebook’s website? Will Instagram tie directly into Facebook in its web app? Only time will tell.