The offline mode also allows for the liking of photos, comments, saving, following and unfollowing and is expected to launch on iOS soon
Sometimes it just isn’t possible to snap an Instagram post and upload it straight away. It may be because you’re in a rush, or because the idyllic scenery you’re shooting is so remote there isn’t a data connection.
The Facebook-owned company is looking to address this problem across the platform by adding an offline mode, and it has begun testing the feature on its Android app.
Announced at the Facebook F8 developer conference, Instagram said the mode works by downloading content over a data connection when you’re online and ‘storing’ these posts so they’re available when the app is offline. This preloaded content is available on the main Instagram feed, explore tab, your profile and those profiles that have been recently looked at.
The offline mode also allows for the liking of photos, comments, saving, following and unfollowing. When a data connection is re-established, the actions made will be uploaded to Instagram’s servers. Screenshots from Android Policeshow the app providing messages saying you’re offline and the actions will be “updated when you’re connected”.
This means posts and comments can be made when browsing the app but they will only be uploaded when there is a data connection – either through mobile networks or Wi-Fi.
Facebook’s apps work in a similar way, and you may have seen the message “you can still post while offline” when using the social network.
At present, Instagram hasn’t made it possible to upload images as new posts in the offline mode but there is the potential for this to be added in the future. There also isn’t support for Instagram stories at present, which may be due to the large amount of dataused by the feature. Instagram is said to be “exploring moving the offline mode to iOS devices in coming months, too.
The offline modes in Instagram and Facebook have specifically been developed for countries where internet access may be limited. Instagram has previously said around 80 per cent of its users are outside of its US base.
Instagram isn’t the only firm developing its platforms to use less data. At the start of April, Twitter introduced a new web app called Lite, developed in coordination with Google. It was designed for the mobile web and focuses on improving the quality of service for areas with limited connectivity.
With Lite, Twitter also introduced a web data saving mode that only downloads images and videos if they are clicked upon by the user. A similar mode is available on Instagram.