Oslo – Opera [NASDAQ: OPRA] is adding a built-in Instagram feature to the newest version of its desktop browser, Opera 68. The popular browser, available on Windows, Mac and Linux, already has several built-in messengers in the sidebar, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram.
Recent weeks, with people staying at home and social distancing as much as possible, have seen them increasingly rely on social media to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. This is also visible in the growing usage of Opera’s built-in messengers as people increasingly turn to desktop computing not only for work but also in their free time: the use of Opera’s built-in WhatsApp has grown 58% in the US along with the use of Facebook Messenger 173% in the past two and a half months.
Instagram no longer a mobile-only platform
Opera users will also get access to the main Instagram feed. Along with Instastories, the explore function, and DMs, which have grown in popularity over recent years and even more so in recent weeks, this makes for a full Instagram on desktop experience.
“People like to have the choice of which social media platforms to use and on which device to access them. We are integrating Instagram to give them better access to their friends and loved ones and for them to have the convenience of using a large display and keyboard to watch Instastories or write comments and DMs,” said Maciej Kocemba, product director at Opera.
Many still consider Instagram to be a mobile-only platform but the company has in fact rolled out more features in its web version, including the most recent access to instastories or DMs, which many who spend their days working on their laptops (or desktop computers) have been asking for. Opera is now integrating these new features into its browser to make them available across platforms.
Using messengers and Instagram in Opera has the added benefit of being a distraction-free way to use the web: people decide when to access their messengers and aren’t bothered by constant notifications unless they enable them.
Having messengers at one’s fingertips lets us reach for them at our convenience, such as after finishing a task or an article we were engaged with in our browser. It is also a quick and easy way to check in with friends or share files, articles or photos, before getting back to our previous tasks.
Enabling the Instagram feature in the Opera browser
To enable Instagram in Opera, one has to simply click the Instagram icon in the sidebar on the left and log into an Instagram account. Once that is done, users are all set: they can use the social network in their favorite way.
“We have found that social media was one of the main reasons people were getting distracted and constantly checking their phones, but right now desktop browsing is striking back. People can finally put down their phones. Using Instagram in Opera is more enjoyable, and doesn’t make you lose focus,” added Maciej Kocemba.
Work and free-time browsing in one window with Workspaces
Opera also includes the useful Workspaces feature, which allows you to manage different projects, whether they are work-related or personal, from the same browser window. Using the sidebar on the left, you can group tabs in up to five separate workspaces. The browser also lets you customize their icons and names.
In 2019, Opera’s PC user base grew 11 percent to 68 million (Average Monthly Users “MAU” fourth quarter 2019) and has continued to see increasing engagement with 73 million MAU in March.
Opera is a global web innovator. Opera’s browsers, news products and fintech solutions are the trusted choice of more than 360 million people worldwide. Opera is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange (OPRA).