Instagram, once a mobile only party, is now enhancing its web experience. A month after updating the app’s search and explore features, Instagram has brought searchability to their website too. On Monday a search bar appeared at the top of Instagram’s website that allows users to search by hashtag, user name or location. This update separates Instagram from other mobile-first apps such as Snapchat that have skipped the desktop aspect altogether.
Search for a hashtag or location and you'll find a landing page that displays the most popular results first, with the most recent photos farther down. This update is a welcome change as the website has remained pretty sparse since its launch in 2012, although admittedly any website was better than not having one at all as it was the case initially.
Now it appears that Instagram wants to minimize the disparity between the app and the website, and the search feature is a good step towards that. Also, as web embeds of their content drive more traffic, it’s sound business to have a site that is a positive experience for web users.
This doesn’t mean that Instagram is going to start favoring web over mobile anytime soon, they remain a mobile-first operation. But, for now, being able to search for everything online is enough. The company also recently began storing pictures at 1080×1080 pixels, a big increase over the standard 640×640 pixel resolution.