Instagram Stories are going beyond the app — After launching the ability to see Stories on mobile browsers over the summer, on Thursday, November 17 Instagram announced that users can soon post to their Stories without the app, too. Posting to a Story, as well as saving posts to review later, is coming toon mobile browsers in the next few weeks, the company says.
Stories allows users to post several short video clips of their day, providing friends with a brief visual breakdown of the day’s happenings. The feature, which launched a year ago, was previously only available inside Instagram’s app. Now, the social platform is bringing the feature to the mobile web.
Instagram Stories still has more features in the app, but users can log into their account on a mobile browser and see those familiar Stories circles at the top of the screen. While mobile browsers have had access to viewing other Stories for a few weeks now, users can now tap on the camera icon on the top left to add to a Story, too. The mobile browser has similar options to add text, but users will have to use the app to post videos to Stories.
Along with the new option to share to Stories, Instagram is also bringing the option to save posts. Users can also revisit those saved posts on a mobile browser by clicking on the bookmark icon in the upper right corner.
Instagram Stories now has around 300 million people using the feature every day. While the concept was originally a Snapchat option, Instagram’s version quickly gained more users than the original.
Instagram has been steadily improving its mobile site this year, adding the ability to post a photo and use the Explore tab in May. The platform has long stuck to a mobile-first, instant-sharing philosophy, so while some features are available from a desktop web browser, features like the photo upload, and now, adding to Stories, are only available from browsers on a mobile device.
Instagram’s expanded mobile website allows users with slower networks to access the platform’s biggest features, particularly in high-population but low-tech countries such as India and parts of Africa. While viewing posts and Stories and sharing a photo are accessible with the mobile website, features like messaging and adding videos still require the app.
Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, doesn’t have the same mobile-first idea — Facebook began testing Stories on desktop browsers over the summer. While Facebook hasn’t shared recent numbers, the feature is thought to lack Instagram Stories’ popularity.