Instagram Lures Brands With New Desktop Site

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A screenshot of Instagram's new desktop layout.

Instagram has enjoyed wide-ranging popularity both with users and brands through its unique combination of social networking functionality, powerful image-editing technology and easy-to-use mobile design. This week, the platform started to roll out a revamped version of its desktop site, indicating that its mobile-first personality may be changing.

Nearly 28 percent of the U.S. population uses Instagram at least once a month, but the platform's desktop site has remained almost unchanged since it was first introduced in 2010. The updated desktop version offers a sleeker look while increasing the size of images displayed on-screen. It also does away with the rounded corners and borders, and it matches the look of the mobile app by featuring circular profile pictures.

Nicol Addison, director of corporate communications at Lithium Technologies, sees Instagram's new desktop site as a strategic move to further encourage brands to use the platform as part of their digital strategy.

"As much as we say that brands recognize they have to be where consumers are and be mobile first, brands are still partial to—or at least more comfortable with—desktop," said Addison, who will be speaking on the Instagram case studies session at PR News' Big 4 Conference in San Francisco on Aug. 6. "This upgrade by may be the spark needed to get brands to use the platform as a tool to connect more authentically with their customers."

Hear speakers from Aflac, the American Heart Association, Adobe, Charles Schwab, Edelman, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Levi Strauss & Co., LEWIS Pulse, Lithium Technologies, Sharecare, Transamerica and the World Surf League at PR News' Big 4 Conference in San Francisco.

Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene