Instagram gets Facebook feel with online profiles

Picture sharing website Instagram on Monday began rolling out online profiles that let people showcase themselves and photos they've taken with the Facebook-owned smartphone application.

The creation of an online home for Instagram images put a Facebook spin on the startup that the world's leading social network bought this year.

"Instagram web profiles are a beautiful new way to view and share Instagram on the web," said a message at the company's website.

"Your web profile features your photos along with your profile photo and bio, giving others a look at the content you share on Instagram."

People can share their profiles with whomever they wish as well as "follow" other Instagram users, commenting on or expressing "likes" for pictures.

Instagram was in the limelight last week as a key source for pictures showing the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Photos of the storm were popping up on many social networks including Twitter and Google+, but Instagram data showed at least 521,000 photos with the hashtag #Sandy. Another 306,000 were tagged #hurricaneSandy.

Facebook completed its acquisition of Instagram in September. The original price was pegged at $1 billion but the final value was less because of the decline in Facebook's share price.

The main point of Instagram is to share smartphone snaps, which can be enhanced with image filters to mimic historic types of film.

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