Instagram Available for Windows Phone, Lacks Some Key Features


Yesterday, Windows Phone shutterbugs found reason to rejoice when news came down the pipeline that Instagram had finally arrived on their platform. But that happiness quickly turned to grumbling (or in some case downright outrage) when they found that the Windows Phone version of Instagram was woefully under-featured compared to its Android and iOS brethren.

The main problem, it seems, is that you can’t actually take a photo within the app. Admittedly, the most common designation for Instagram is as a “photo sharing” app, so “photo taking” isn’t strictly necessary, but nobody imagined that they would open up Instagram and find that they couldn’t actually take photos within the app.

Instead, when you click the photo button, the app pulls you out into your own camera app. After you’ve taken the photo, you are then pulled back into Instagram where you can filter it to kingdom come and post it like any other Instagram pic. In the words of TechCrunch‘s Alex Wilhelm, the experience is “about as smooth as sandpaper.”


Also missing is the ability to shoot or upload video at all, the ability to tag people and the ability to view photo maps using GPS info.

Instagram has come out in defense of its decision to use the default camera when taking photos, claiming that its developers “take into account how users are using the platform natively, and thought this was the best approach.” Translated out of PR speak, that’s basically saying that the camera apps on Windows Phones were so good Instagram thought it made more sense to have that be the default (read: only) option.

A spokesperson also added that Instagram “[is] not finished, and our team will continue developing the Windows Phone app to keep releasing features and bringing you the best Instagram possible.”

If you happen to be a Windows Phone user and none of the missing features deter you, you can grab the free app from the Windows Phone Store right now by clicking here.

  • Sergio Barbosa

    You can actually take photos from within the app. When you click the camera icon it takes you, by default, to your camera roll. However, on the bottom there’s a camera icon for you to tap, in case you want to take a picture from within the app.
    I don’t know if it’s the same on iOS or android, but when you take a picture from the regular camera app, you can select “Share to instagram” and it takes you straight to crop/filter section of the app.
    It does still lack video, and probably many other things. Keep in mind that it’s still in beta.

  • Renato Murakami

    Ok, let’s do this to stop the constant undeserving bashing of WP.
    1. the app is Instagram BETA (all caps, I didn’t put it there). As explained in other quotes by their team, they decided to release the app early to see how it goes, and will keep implementing what’s lacking. The “best approach” the quote there is pointing to is on what they thought would be the priority to put out, not a permanent thing.
    2. for everyone on WP who are looking for a full featured Instagram app, it’s been available for quite a while a client called 6tag which features several of the functionalities Instagram BETA still don’t. I’ve heard people saying it’s better than even the Instagram apps on iPhone and Android, but that’s probably a matter of taste.

    Nothing personal PetaPixel… just that I’ve been reading all sorts of misinformation and senseless bashing with the announcement of Instagram BETA on WP.

  • moban

    im not a WP user so i dont know the popularity of 6tag, but the main pull for instagram is the community. people are looking for that follow and like count.

    also, odd they didn’t unveil it with in app camera taking ability considering its called INSTAgram. i may be in the minority but i would rather no camera roll option at all.

  • Cameron Vuleta

    Just like on the next gen consoles, the games made to come out on release date will never be as good as games made further down the consoles lifetime. This is because the consoles need refining and that takes time as well as money. The app will eventually be able to do everything, and maybe more on windows phone as on all the other platforms. It just takes time… and money.

  • Joel Johnson

    This pretty much sounds how most camera related applications work on windows phone. Ex: Take Facebook on Windows Phone. If you select the option to post a picture you are first presented with the pix you’ve already taken and there’s a camera button at the bottom that uses the phone’s photo task to take a photo if you wish. The advantages of using the phone’s built in camera task is that as OEMs develop phones with specific features the user still has access to them and the experience of taking a photo is uniform. If an app developer choose to make his or her own dialog then there could be features a camera supports but are not available because the developer hasn’t accounted for them.