It's now possible for Android users to use Instagram even when there's no Wi-Fi or mobile data available.
At its F8 Facebook Conference, Instagram announced that it has built and allowed support for core features of its app without requiring an internet connection.
This feature is now available on Instagram for Android, and the company is also exploring a version for iOS.
Instagram Outs New Offline Mode: Here's What You Can Do
Users may still leave comments, like and save posts, unfollow other users, and view previously loaded content in Instagram's feed. Activities done offline will count once the user reconnects to the internet, meaning until you find a connection, that "like" will not show up for the person receiving it.
In addition, other profiles users have visited before will also be accessible, as will the Explore tab and a cached version of the user's own profile, for good measure.
The move to enable core functionalities even in offline mode is a wise decision from Instagram, and it shows they know where most of their users are. Out of its 600 million users, 80 percent are outside the United States, and some of those markers are bound to have poor internet connectivity. Instagram knows it needs to provide an experience for those with limited networks, or those without a data plan.
What Offline Mode Might Do For Instagram
This could potentially spell growth for Instagram in developing countries where stellar internet speeds are too costly, or areas without stable internet connectivity. In fact, users clamor for usability and function amid the lack of fast internet speeds. Take Facebook Lite into account, which reportedly shot to 200 million users in just a year. That app offers the core features of the main Facebook app, but in a slimmed-down approach and presentation.
Instagram Lite On The Cards?
Instagram could mirror Facebook's move and release a Lite version of its app, but given that Instagram is heavy on data, with all the photos and videos involved, the notion seems unlikely.
It's worth noting that there was no mention of Stories working in offline mode. Stories is a marquee feature many consider as a copy of Snapchat, which championed the trend of disappearing content.
The irony here is that Instagram's Stories has managed to pick up 200 million users already — more than that of Snapchat. Whether or not the latter will officially address the copying claims is yet to be determined.
For now, Stories still requires an active internet connection to access, but Instagram explains that it's currently looking to add more functionality for the app's offline mode. Expect due coverage when new developments are announced overtime.
The series of announcements, including Instagram's offline mode, are part of Facebook F8 Conference, where the company also announced a camera effects platform; Spaces, a social-focused virtual reality experience; and a number of bots-related improvements to Messenger.
Thoughts about offline mode for Instagram? Will the feature be useful for you, personally? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!