Instagram sharpens up its image with upgrade

The social network offers a more professional platform for brands

SAN FRANCISCO — In time for its fifth birthday coming up in October, Instagram will launch a refreshed design for desktop and mobile use.

With more than 300 million active monthly users, more than 75 million daily users and 2.5 billion daily likes, Instagram already seems well-positioned to appeal to brands that can engage audiences with image- and video-based messages.

Instagram's business page reports success stories for Mercedes-Benz, Chobani, Taco Bell, Ben & Jerry’s, and Levi's.

Nonetheless, the changes the company reportedly has in mind seem to acknowledge that Web design has lagged behind the mobile app. Among the new features are:

  • Removal of the grid of cover images at the top of the account page;
  • Elimination of borders and rounded corners for images;
  • Display of fewer, larger images per row.

The new look, which will start rolling out immediately and should be widely visible to users by the end of the week, seems likely to provide a simpler, cleaner interface, and may be a more attractive platform for high-quality images.

This is an example of a heavily mobile-first service improving its Web presence, and some see it as part of an evolution from a fun social app to a showcase for professional — including brand-related — images.

This story first appeared on

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