Monday, April 13, 2020

Now you can tune into your Instagram live streams on the web too

Just a few days after we noticed direct messages had arrived on Instagram on the web, it appears that the online portal has now added the ability to view livestreams too – giving you one less reason to get your phone out.

This time there's no official announcement to mark the upgrade, just users (including Engadget) noticing the change. As yet we haven't seen it for ourselves, but it might just be that none of our friends are all that keen on livestreaming today.

In fact the web experience might actually be an upgrade on the phone experience: it's more comfortable for watching extended clips, and the live comments get sorted into a separate window on the right rather than floating up above the livestream itself.

It's also worth noting that you still can't start a livestream from the web, only tune into one. You can't post photos to your feed or your stories through a browser either, so Instagram still wants you to be on your phone when you're creating stuff.

Instagram down the years

Instagram was of course very much a mobile-first experience when it arrived way back in 2010. Its stated mission was to make all of our terrible phone photos look much better, and it managed to succeed with its broad range of features and filters.

The web interface has been around for a while as well – it first showed up in 2012, though all you could do back then was view your feed or Instagram profiles.

Since then Instagram on the web has expanded to include just about every feature from the mobile app, including support for stories, searching through hashtags, and more. As we've mentioned though, photo uploads still aren't supported.

The mobile app continues to get new features too, most recently the option to browse through videos and photos with friends, as well as the addition of a variety of resources for getting information on the Covid-19 outbreak.

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