Instagram is going offline, but don’t worry, this is a feature, not a flaw. As announced at Facebook’s F8 conference earlier this week, Instagram is gaining offline functionality. Which means you’ll still be able to feed your Instagram addiction even when your internet connection craps out.
More and more tech companies are realizing there’s a big world out there. So, while they’re on solid ground in the U.S. and beyond, there are plenty of people in other countries keen to use their apps and services. The problem in many developing countries is spotty internet connections.
Designing Apps for Developing Countries
In order to cater to people with older phones and/or cruddy internet connections, companies are creating apps specifically designed for developing countries. We have already seen Facebook Lite, YouTube Go, Messenger Lite, Skype Lite, and Twitter Lite. And now Instagram is jumping on the bandwagon.
Instagram isn’t launching a lightweight version of its app. Instead, the full-fledged app is gaining offline functionality. First on Android, but eventually on iOS as well. The offline functionality is rolling out in certain parts of the world, but should be available everywhere soon.
The Instagram app already saves drafts and queues photos for you when you’re offline. However, now, the Instagram app will let you like and comment on other people’s photos, and follow and unfollow people. These actions will all be queued up, and completed the next time you get online.
In addition to this, Instagram will now cache certain parts of the app, including old versions of the Explore tab and profiles you visit regularly. Which means you’ll never be stuck staring at a blank screen. The overall effect will be making Instagram more usable offline.
Potential Waiting to Be Unlocked
This is a good move by Instagram, and one that should help it gain users in developing countries. Instagram is a little late to the party in terms of helping users beyond its core territories, but it’s unlikely to be the last company to realize the potential waiting to be unlocked.
Do you use Instagram? Have you got a solid and stable internet connection? Or are you regularly forced offline? Will you make use of Instagram’s new offline functionality? Are you frustrated that it’s only on Android for now? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Maurizio Pesce via Flickr