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Instagram adds no-frills service for Stories
November 26, 2017, 4:18 pm

Instagram wants people from the developing world, where low-bandwidth is often the norm, to join its Stories.

Accordingly, the company has begun allowing mobile web users to post to Instagram Stories. Though these users will not have access to augmented reality masks or to share videos, they will be able to snap photos, overlay text captions and share them with friends from mobile web. In addition they will also be able to Save posts they find in the feed and want to revisit later.

Previously, mobile web users could only view Stories, which had to be created in Instagram’s native apps.

Coming to everyone in the next few weeks, Instagram users will see a camera icon in the top left corner they can tap to shoot or upload a photo for their Story. Captions in different colors can then be laid on top. But videos and the rest of Instagram’s creative tools like doodling, stickers, location tags, polls, and more are still available only in the native apps. Instagram said it plans to keep improving the creative tool offering on mobile web.

Meanwhile, tapping the bookmark icon on feed posts sends them to the Saved folder, which is accessible from the top right of the screen. There was no word on whether posting will come to desktop web, but it might be awkward posting vertical portrait images from a landscape computer screen.

The mobile web features could give Instagram Stories a boost in the developing world, where some users do not have cheap enough data to download native apps. That is a region where competitor and Stories originator Snapchat has struggled but is finally focusing on. Instagram is hoping that if it can get its Stories institutionalized worldwide before Snapchat gets there, it could lock in a long-standing audience.

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