If you visit your Instagram account once or twice a week, there is a cause to become ecstatic. During Facebook's F8 developer conference, on the 18th of April 2017, the best announcement was that Instagram was soon going to start working offline on Android phones.
This step was taken to cater for Instagram users who have slower internet connections. Most of the users are outside the US and add up to around 80% of the total Instagram user base. Let's explore more of this below:
What features will be available through the offline option?
You may have noticed that when you try to post on Instagram when the internet is slow, you can save the draft or queue a photo at the top of the feed. This is just a taste of what you are able to do with the offline feature.
The offline mode allows for a number of options ranging from likes, comments, following and unfollowing Instagram accounts, to accessing the explore tab and the profiles that you view most frequently. You also access the activity tab and see all the feed content which had loaded when they were last online.
The next time your phone accesses the internet, all those actions will actually go live or be completed. It is not yet clear whether the stories feature will be available in offline mode.
Where can you access the offline option?
The offline mode has already begun running in some parts of the world, for instance in Lebanon. In New York, you can also test it using some Android phones, for instance, those running Android Nougat.
Will the feature also run for iOS?
This far, the offline feature is being tested on Android. It will soon roll out for iOS but the dates were not specified.
What then does it mean for Instagram users?
The offline feature will help you to use fewer data bundles. All you need to do is log in once or twice a day, wait for the feeds to load and go offline to comment, like, follow, unfollow and explore. You will be able to stay up to date while using fewer data bundles.
If you only access an internet connection at specific times, for instance when you are in the office or when you visit a cafe or hotspot where you live or school, you can use Instagram until when you get Internet access. Once you have access you can catch up on the latest and interact with it until when you next access the internet.
If you are traveling to an area with slow internet connection or barely any connections at all. You can see all the photos that your friends had uploaded, like comment and share. When you get back to an area with a good connection, you will not have missed out on much.
All in all
The fact that Instagram can now work offline can only be a win-win. Users will have more access, undeterred by slow or unreliable internet connections. On the other hand, the platform is bound to increase its use base.
What it means to marketers?
Honestly I'm wondering if they're opening the gates to more botting with this feature. Just think about it, you queue a couple hundreds "actions" and come online and the app will do all those actions for you probably much faster than you are able to do them now, no footprints left because well... that's the main idea of this feature .
It's true, for normal users that have limited internet access it's a great idea, it depends on how easy it is to take advantage of though. We'll see how it goes .