Let's face it: Instagram's website is horrible.
It's not excessively ugly or unusable, it's just that there's nothing you can really do. You get the option to edit your profile, which one can pull up via the iOS or Android Instagram apps, and you can change your password and third-party site permissions. And that's pretty much it.
Or is it?
Eagle-eyed Web designer Cole Reinke noticed a brand-new link appearing on his Web-based Instagram account the other day – a link that said "View Profile," which appeared in the drop-down menu under his name alongside the usual "Edit Profile" and "Log Out" links.
However, when he clicked on it, he was given a 404 Page Not Found message.
Speculation as to what this link could signify is running in one direction so far: That Instagram is considering building in more of a profile-based Web presence that, given its ownership by Facebook, is something of a no-brainer. It doesn't seem as if it would be that difficult to populate one's online Instagram presence with Facebook facts and figures, given the already close relationship the two platforms share in the mobile world.
That's the kicker, however: Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has made it abundantly clear that the company's focus is on the mobile experience. So much so, that Instagram even recommends that its users check out other third-party sites if they want to view Instagram photos they've taken on their Web browsers.
Instagram's expansion into the Web world – which pundit MG Siegler said he believes is on its way, as reported by Reinke himself – would likely annoy the very third-party providers it recommends. But it's not as if these other sites haven't seen the writing on the hipster-filtered wall for some time now: After all, Instagram's recommendation page starts off with the phrase, "While we're still developing our web presence at instagram.com..."
As for what Instagram's rumoured online profile feature could look like – and how it would truly make for a different experience than what one could find on Facebook – is anyone's guess right now. And would Instagram users even want any kind of Facebook tie-in, or would they prefer a Web-based Instagram portal that keeps their separate community of photographer friends intact?