Facebook at its F8 2017 conference revealed new platforms and tools for developers. From camera filters to enhance its augmented reality platform, to a VR social space and integration of music and games to its Messenger app, Facebook made some pretty interesting announcements. While all this rests on AR and VR platforms, Facebook also announced offline mode for one of its most popular apps, Instagram. The offline mode is mainly aimed at regions where data connectivity is still an issue. Instagram currently has 600 million users out of which 80 percent of them reside outside the US.
The feature is currently rolled out for Android users only. Instagram will not work completely in offline mode but some of its key features will be useful without internet connectivity. Instagram users will now be able to see content in their feed which was loaded previously when in online mode. In addition to this, Instagram users can perform functions like leave comments, like pictures and videos, save media and unfollow people as well, when in offline mode. All these actions performed will be executed once the phone is connected to the internet.
Instagram users will also be able to visit the profiles they’ve visited before when in online mode. They can go back and check the content loaded on the Explore tab as well and their own profile as well. Essentially, content which has already been loaded when in online mode will be available for viewing again even in offline mode. According to Instagram’s engineer Hendri, Instagram will follow the footsteps of Facebook Lite app and offer the offline mode as a complete package.
Instagram appears to be testing the offline mode currently in some regions as Android Police reports spotting the feature in Lebanon. On using Instagram in offline mode, a message appears after performing an action which reads, “You’re offline. Comments will be added when you’re connected”. The offline mode hasn’t been rolled out officially as of yet, but it is expected to come to Android devices soon.
Instagram’s offline mode is however not available for Stories as yet, which recently garnered over 200 million daily users. Instagram with the latest numbers managed to surpass Snapchat, its biggest influencer. Snapchat has something similar called ‘Travel Mode’ wherein Snaps will not automatically load and will be played only after tapping on it. Considering the huge amount of data Snapchat consumes, Travel Mode turned out to be a useful feature. It remains to be seen if Instagram through Stories will come up with new tactics to beats its rival Snapchat.