Instagram for Windows Phone is finally arriving today. Nokia pressured Instagram enough to convince the photo-sharing service to develop an app for Microsoft’s mobile OS, and it launches in the Windows Phone Store today. While a number of Windows Phone users have been taking advantage of unofficial Instagram apps on the platform for a while, today’s release is a significant one for Microsoft’s mobile efforts. Instagram recently reached 150 million active users, and official support for Windows Phone will undoubtedly open up device sales to a new market.
Instagram promises it's not finished yet
Instagram’s Windows Phone app includes all the usual photo filters found on its iOS and Android versions, but it’s missing one big feature: video uploading. The lack of video is an odd omission given the increasing popularity of sharing video on the service. "We're not finished, and our team will continue developing the Windows Phone app to keep releasing features and bringing you the best Instagram possible," says an Instagram spokesperson. Other missing features include the inability to tag people in photos or view maps from geotagged photos. If you're tagged in a photo, you'll still be able to untag yourself and view other people's tags through the Windows Phone app.
Instagram claims the app does not support in-app photo-taking, but we found that it works just fine. Windows Phone users will be directed to their camera roll instead of a camera interface initially, but a camera button at the bottom leads into the camera UI where you can snap a picture and apply a filter before sharing. It's not the same in-app photo capturing available on iOS or Android, but the end result is the same.
Overall the app fits well with Microsoft's flat Windows Phone user interface, and there are quick tabs to access Explore, News, Feeds, and Profiles. If you’re a heavy user of Instagram video then you might want to hold on to unofficial Instagram clients like 6tag for a little longer until the official app is fully updated. Instagram tells us that today's release is simply a beta of Instagram for Windows Phone, so there should be additional features coming soon. Instagram tells us that app will be live in the Windows Phone Store at 2PM ET.
Update: Instagram Windows Phone users can use the app to upload photos, but they'll need to shoot photos separately using the camera as there is no direct in-app camera support. A button within the app links out to the camera, and returns the photo after it's taken to apply a filter and upload it. Instagram says "as with every platform we take into account how users are using the platform natively, and thought this was the best approach."