Instagram Badges Herald Important Changes & Raise Stakes In Photo Space

By Alexandra Burlacu , Nov 25, 2012 10:46 AM EST

Tech pundits and Instagram users have been raving about a potential expansion beyond mobile for days, as Instagram has finally launched its Web profiles.

Up until now, the only way for users to promote their Instagram profile and get traffic was to direct people there with a link. The new tool, Instagram Badges, allows users to link to and advertise their Web profiles much easier.

"Instagram badges are available in a range of sizes and can be easily added to your website, blog or anywhere that you want to link to your Instagram web profile," Instagram wrote in a blog post.

"We are very excited to launch Instagram badges, a tool that will help you link to and promote your Instagram web profile," Instagram wrote in a blog post. "Add them to your brand website, campaign promotions or personal blog to help users discover and engage with your Instagram content."

Users can access Instagram badges either by visiting or by navigating to their Instagram web profile, clicking on their username and choosing "Badges" from the drop down menu. To create a badge for their account, users must be logged into the account they want to link to. Simply select a badge from the five options available, copy the code, and paste it into the desired Web site or blog.

The new Instagram profiles are very similar to Facebook profiles, but that comes as little surprise since the photo-sharing service is now owned by the social networking giant. A banner image sits on the top of each profile, featuring a mosaic-like selection of the user's recently shared photos. The user's Instagram profile photo and bio lies beneath, followed by a grid of thumbnails organized by date. The profile will include all photos shared on Instagram.

Just like Twitter has its iconic Twitter button, Google has its "+1" button, and Facebook has its ubiquitous "Like" button, Instagram is all grown up and moving up the Internet world with its new Instagram badges.

The new tool is an important step forward for Instagram, especially since the service has been widely seen as a simple "mobile application" and community since its very beginnings. Facebook, however, saw beyond that and invested in Instagram's potential to take over the photo space on the Web, mobile, and desktop. While the badge may not seem like a big deal, it is a major step forward in the right direction.

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