Testing of a new offline mode has begun on Instagram’s Android app. By fetching content when a data connection is available, Instagram is then able to display it when users are offline.
While developing the feature, Instagram has to overcome the challenge of downloading enough content for an offline mode to be worthwhile, without massively increasing data usage.
Instagram tracks which profiles users visit most often, allowing the Android app to ensure they are available offline. In addition, there is also offline access to users’ personal profiles, the main feed and explore tab.
As well as viewing photos, the offline mode also makes it possible to carry out typical interactions on the app. For instance, activity such as following, unfollowing, liking and commenting will all be automatically completed once a data connection becomes available.
There are nonetheless some common tasks that are currently missing from offline mode. There is no offline queue to allow ‘uploading’ photos, nor is there support for Instagram stories.
The photo sharing service, which is owned by Facebook, announced the new feature at its parent company’s F8 developer conference.
Although testing is currently taking place on the Android app, there are plans to roll out offline support across Instagram’s platform.