Instagram Login Webview: Instagram no longer allows users to view images and videos on devices without an account.
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The wall that divides people who do not have an account from those who do was erected by Instagram. Instagram has not allowed unregistered users to access images and videos from public accounts on computers and tablets since at least April 21st.
Public profiles have always been open irrespective of login, those that do not have the padlock that limits content to registered followers. Not anymore.
Many studies performed by Manual do Usuário have shown that access to images and videos by unlogged individuals works only on cell phones. They are confronted with a login and registration form while attempting to view something from a public profile on a device or tablet.
On Windows and macOS machines, in different Brazilian cities, with mobile and domestic internet links, in various browsers, and with disabled ad-blocking extensions, tests were performed. The blockage continued in both situations.
Changing the “user-agent” of the browser, a kind of public identifier that tells sites of the type of system that accesses them changes the behavior of Instagram. Photos and videos will usually open when a computer browser is marked as a mobile phone (Android or iPhone). This is illustrated by the following video:
Thus, pictures and videos shared on the feed of Instagram now act as stories that have always been limited to people logged into Instagram.
As their only point of contact with clients, many small businesses and professionals use Instagram, a reality that makes this transition troublesome for those who do not have and do not wish to have an account there for any reason.
Asked about this move, I contacted Instagram. There had been no response before this publication. I will update this post if that changes.
Updated: My request was answered on Instagram. “If you are not logged into Instagram before you are asked to log in, you may only see a certain number of posts on public profiles,” they said. “This is to help people view Instagram photos and understand how to have the best experience on the platform, be part of the community, connect with people and the things they love and interact with them.”
It’s a different problem here. The viewing of public posts has been restricted since at least November 2019 when an unlogged individual scrolls the page a bit, see this article from The Next Web. What is new is a much more limited limit, which does not allow even one picture or video to be viewed by unlogged individuals.
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