6tagram renamed to 6tag as Instagram cracks down on connected apps using “Insta” And “Gram”

Although Rudy Huyn’s upcoming Instagram app 6tagram will most likely make it to the Windows Phone Store intact, it won’t with that name. As we covered earlier, Instagram asked for final approval of the app to make sure it wasn’t violating their trademark (though they are evidently looking the other way on the API issue) and tonight they have exercised that privilege.

As a result, 6tagram will be renamed to 6tag for final release and it has been submitted under that new moniker.

The news comes from Huyn, who noted that Instagram requested the change before final submission to the Store. As a result, Huyn came up with six potential name replacements including 6pix, 6pics, 6frames, 6degrees, 6shot, 6social but later reduced the choice to 6tag and 6tamatic. The options were put to a poll and while 6tamatic clearly won (66% versus 33%), it looks like 6tag was the preferred choice by the developer.

The reason for the sudden name change evidently comes from a revised policy on “Instagram Brand Guidelines”, as reported by TechCrunch. Previously, developers who used Instagram’s public APIs for so-called “connected apps” i.e. apps that viewed streams, were only forbidden from using the full “Instagram” in their titles and the associated logos. Now, however, developers are reportedly told that if they use the public API they also cannot use “Insta” or “Gram” in their titles either, potentially knocking out numerous third party apps unless they completely rebrand.

The move by Instagram is to solidify their brand name and to avoid confusion to consumers, though it will certainly ruffle some feathers amongst developers.

While these changes will have more of a dramatic impact for services like Luxogram, which is a web interface for Instagram, clearly the decision has also trickled down to Huyn’s app, requiring it to abandon the “gram” branding in 6tagram. It’s not obvious at this time if Instagram will send letters to other third party apps on Windows Phone like Metrogram.

Huyn seems content with the modification, noting that the “6” has sort of become his brand on Windows Phone, with 9gag, 6sec and now 6tag. He also humorously points out “users download an app named "oggl", not sure that the name is really important :D”, which we have to agree with.

6tagram no more

Regardless of the title, the functionality of the Huyn’s app should be intact when it passes the store with only minor changes requested by Microsoft and Instagram, none of which are significant.

The tradeoff in renaming the app and appeasing Instagram appears to be their unofficial consent, with their lawyers not attempting to have it removed from the Windows Phone Store. In that sense, we believe the renaming is a small price to pay for that cooperation.

The name change recalls and earlier situation with Itsdagram, which was later renamed to Instance by Windows Phone Central readers, after Instagram made similar complaints. In this regard, Instagram's behavior is actually not new.

6tag is expected to be available in the store within the next few days. We’ll of course bring you news of when that happens. Thanks, A A A, for the tips

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • IMO that name is even better.
  • I thought 6Shooter was better... Imho.
  • As a WP user  my daily task includes checking all the apps i have.. to confim which ones are working and which one are not. and find replacement for those not working... i am fed up with this.. when will official  apps come ??? i am fed up with this time wasting excersise...
  • Shut up troll, you make it seem like all the apps are like that. Next thing you're gonna say is that we need official Nokia apps too
  • Wow troll? Rly? His point crossed my mind too and I'm sure others. Does that *gasp* make us all trolls?
  • As a WP user  my daily task includes checking all the apps i have.. to confim which ones are working and which one are not.
    That's just BS though.  It not like 1st party apps don't go away (marvel, bitbop) or that 3rd party apps on other platforms don't go away either (For those of us who were on WebOS and Android, we saw Carbon bounce between all three).   I'm sorry but it's just a whiny statement.  That line where its troling is pretty fine on this one.  I wouldn't label it trolling myself, but I won't say I don't see where he's coming from for saying so. 
    (and no, it's not just because I disagree with him.  It's because is not realistic to check all your apps daily to see what works at all.  Add to this, the app the article is about isn't even out yet.)
  • I believe as far as checking apps daily, he was being facetious
  • What would make you think that? He's trying to make it sound like WP is constantly on the verge of having apps break daily.
  • What? He's a troll for wanting offical apps and support from big companies? Defensive much?
  • Yea clavitox you troll!
  • As a WP user my daily task includes enjoying my phone, the beautifully working apps and whole experience.
  • And that's the spirit!
  • You are so totalitarian, pacifist, comformist and nanny 
  • +1 I might just have my Windows Phone on the side just to check up on the development of it until Blue and go to an HTC One X when it gets the Sense 5 update. I love WP8 but what you pointed out is very true
  • You obviously enjoy your One X, good for you. But seriously, which apps broke for you? can you list a few? Both of you seem to imply that apps break frequently on WP - whereas I have only seen one or two instances till date. That happens to Android as well - and I can list down a number of apps if I am just looking for it.
  • Apps obviously have glitches on every OS. Instance crashes on my a lot, mytube crashes on me a lot, even the official twitter app closes when you press certain things. Other OS' would get updates much faster than WP does though.
  • I wouldnt call you are names but ask what apps are you finding yourself checking everyday? Thats really odd that you find yourself doing that. As a Dev I dont understand how youre having this probelm with so many apps.
  • its not about app crashing... i was talking abot  unofficial apps  that stop working ... i had youtube app..  thats not working, instance  went off one day  i downloeded some other then again went back to instance when it star working..   . one week after google or facebook change thr api policy..apps are agian down. and i am really really fed up with this...  and if you guys feel i troll.. nothing much to say..  
  • ALL your apps, EVERY morning?
    NOW you made me believe that you are exaggerating a lot
    A troll?
    Maybe that also is blowing things out of proportions...
  • You just check to see if they are still working? WTH!?! It seems like you have plenty of time in your hands! Why do you do it if you think it's a waste of time then? I see you are not very smart.
  • Well that's BS. If you actually do that, you have no real life. The official apps wil come when they come. In the mean time we have lots of good 3rd party apps that provide the same functionality and that is all I care about. The vast majority of these must have apps are just fads that people will stop using within a year anyway.
  • Yes cause you know what I do for a living.. What if I need social media for what I do? And even of I don't its not only social media apps that show inconsistency. This is a growing OS we all know that. You say the apps will come when they come, that's more "BS" than what I said ita not like I don't have patience but I've been waiting for 2 years & if theses official apps are just fads that will die out within a year than why are people still waiting for the same apps 2 years later? I clearly said that I will still keep my windows phone (I have 2 actually) so I don't see how any of that was BS. I'd rather have official apps (not just social media or the popular ones) than third party apps that actually don't all provide the same functionality as the official apps. Not to say these apps aren't really good and better than some official apps
  • "but I've been waiting for 2 years" If you are talking about the Windows Phone 8 with NT kernel
    then you might want to check the facts, ok?
  • yeah, this is probably the best thing that could've happened for this app. The app itself looks really good, but 6tagram was a terrible name. 6tag is much better, but still not great. I don't get the '6', thing. I know he's trying to tie it in to his 6sec Vine app, but the 6 made sense there. Now it doesn't. Still, glad to see the name was changed.
  • I think the idea is to have his apps appear at top of the app list.
  • The purpose is to be honest with users : 6sec and 6tag are the same app, with the same UX. With a generic name, users will be frustated "ooohh, it's the same app, it's a lazy developer".
    So with 6sec and 6tag, no frustration, it's pretty clear that it's two sister apps.
    AND, I will add a lot of interaction and bridge between the 2 apps for example, add a button in 6sec with you browse hashtag : "search it on 6tag" or "search this place on 6sec", etc...
  • Thank you for the clarification, Rudy. Very much appreciated. :) BTW, that bridge feature seems interesting, can't wait to try it out.
  • +6
  • Totally, and when I saw he news at first this was the first thing hat came to mind, it matches the stylish 6sec =P
  • How can I become a beta tester??
  • The beta program is about to end. You'll be able to download the app within the next couple days.
  • The beta version of Facebook gets features before the "Official" version available to everyone else. May be this one will as well?
  • No. The beta program ends in 2 days.
  • You can't, the beta's over.
  • 900
  • WP = Waiting Patiently
  • +1
  • Patiently waiting since WP7
  • LOL!!!
  • Patiently? You are one of a select few, most here are unreasonable and rabid.
  • Including me...
    but I'm the only one admitting it publicly! 
  • Lol
  • Hopefully they won't block this because it has "tag" in it :)
  • Haha! Nice.
  • Not sure its acceptable to Instagram to bitch about the name without them willing to build their own app. Its not like there's a counterpart official app on WP to "rip off" in the first place. But whatever.
  • ^This
  • I think its pretty fucked up.
  • I like how you act as if Instagram is somehow obligated to make an app. They're not. Just be glad they're not completely blocking the app.
  • I agree that they don't have a "legal obligation" to make a WP app, but that's not an excuse to behave bitchy. Part of being a responsible community is ensuring all your users have a decent experience, and making apps for each platform is part of that responsibility.
    It may not be an obligation, but its simply bad business behavior to sideline part of user base.
    I wish companies like Google, the BBC and Instagram realised this...and if they cant make official apps, they should at least stop blocking the people who are!!
  • But they aren't blocking the app. They just asked for Rudy to rename the app. That's not blocking to me.
  • Cleary companies don't see much reason to make apps for WP & BB because they are really small compared to Android & IOS. Its how business works
  • That's fine, but don't block 3rd parties from helping the smaller platforms. You are still getting the viewers to your content that you wouldn't have had otherwise and you're getting it for free.
  • Whaa whaaa whaaa don't use letters from the alphabet in your name because that's what instagram uses.
  • Fine I'll just rename it innstagrram. happy?
  • I see what you did there
  • Or ubinstubagrubam in ubbi dubbi :)
  • Insteadofgramps
  • The fucked up thing about this deal is that Instagram has demanded Rudy's app to be examined. If and when they decide to come to WP and they just so happen to "replicate" some of Rudy's coding in their app, who's going to hold them accountable?
  • They should and probably will because his work is beautiful, but you are right in your words
  • It doesn't work like that as Huyn has to my knowledge, has not signed any such deal. A developer's code is protected from piracy just like anything else and Instagram would be naive to do that (especially since Microsoft already wrote an app for them).
  • while Rudys work is amazing, but i dont see it following the metro feel, i would guess if instagram would create an offical app, it should follow the metro deisgn, just like the first facebook, i like the first facebook a lot more than the new one (in terms of form, not function - with the exeption of the huge FACBOOK logo that took 35% of my screen).
    so i guess if they at some point decided to create an official app, it wont use rudys "pic flip" style.
  • I also liked they first FB better because it was more Metro.
  • Instrgram = another google? oh nos :o
  • Should had called it Graham crackers!
  • Racist.. BS..
  • Lol
  • LMAO!!!!
  • LOL,, sorry about that...
  • Don't be, that was funny.
  • Jeezz. I don't even know what to say. :) Obviously they think people are idiots that can't tell the difference between the word "Instagram" and another word that sounds like it. If they are to be caring so much about their brand, just make the bloody official app and be done with it.
  • so now "gram" belongs to Instagram.. good bye kilogram /s
  • Ilomilo owns anything that rhymes too /s part 2 :P
  • And gramophone. ;)
  • Only if they are using Instagram's service not just any app with those 2 words in the name.
  • LOL
  • The metric system is for punks anyway. LOL
    USA! USA! USA!
  • I use metric system :D
  • Punk! jk :)
  • http://www.elauhel.fr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/imperial_vs_metric.png
  • And that is the way we like it!
  • 'Merica!
  • Using 24 hour time format and using the dd/mm/yy format yeah and I am 'Murrican ;)
  • You can't blame instagram. They are just protecting their own trademark. At least their didn't block their API and buy the looks of it, they don't intend to.
  • "instagram", "IG", "insta" are fine.. but "gram"? really?
  • Well, when gram is used in an app name, it usually something related to instagram.
  • "program"?
  • It's not just "insta" & "gram", it's those words involved with an app associated with instagram.
    Perfectly reasonable, frankly I wish more devs would crackdown on this type of thing. Then we wouldn't have 20 apps with the same name.
  • I understand the instagram position, in fact, we chat without problem together, no threat, nothing, we only try to speak between intelligent persons.
  • Thank you, Rudy, for bringing sanity to the table. I'm not an instagram user, so won't be a user of this app, but I do appreciate your working with them to bring this to fruition for the platform. I may buy the app anyway, to show people as I try to "sell" Windows Phone to friends, as I did with Itsdagram before its name hangs to instance.
  • What a classy answer. Well done.
  • +6
  • You're welcome, Dan (yes, I saw you thanked me for both the tips) :)
    And 6tamatic was my suggestion. It was a play on the word Instamatic (cameras of yore that produced square photos, like Instagram).
  • then thank you
  • I really like 6tamatic (derived from "instamatic"), but sound like hipstamatic that already work with Instagram.
  • Rudy is awesome, but that name is awful.
  • I can't wait but I agree 6tamatic is a much cooler name
  • Should be 6ram
  • Should be 6ram that instashit to pieces!!!!!!
  • thats what i said in the beta already
  • ram = means "something slow" in french, I can't use it :D
  • ok, how about 6notram. lol
  • 6itup...
  • shame.. would read like gram and to ram is not a bad word in english :) 
  • Rudygram
  • Can't use gram anymore...
  • 6oz
    from the Wizard of Oz
    and it's about 170.097 grams
  • Anybody notice that 6sec hasn't been in the store all day?
  • OMFG! That's right! Weird indeed. :/
  • no, it's normal, I hid it (I fix a bug due to 6tag(ram) beta)
  • When they become big, they also become cocky.
  • Big cocky
  • Should have been 1nsta6ram!
  • haha
  • Haha
  • Wouldn't it be easier to funnel your efforts into making an official instagram app for Windows Phone instead of getting your panties in a twist? I swear, I hope facebook goes broke along with instagram. Google and Facebook have been acting like a bunch of punks lately. Grow up!
  • Josh the reason 6Sec is not in the market due to some shared code with 6tag. It should soon be available again.
  • Interesting, I was afraid it was because of some trouble with Vine. I wonder if that means he's updating Vine or integrating it with 6tag (although in not sure that would work well).
  • I fix a bug, add a lot of 6tag features and start to prepare the communication between the 2 apps (for example :
    in 6tag : search also this hashtag in 6sec
    in 6sec : display posts of this place in 6tag, share this video on Instagram using 6tag, etc... This is why I used "6", to explain clearly that 6sec & 6tag aren't 2 individual apps
  • Rudy not to sound like a kiss a$$ but well done! I get the "6" thing and even though I don't use 6sec I am going to buy it to show my support and a course will be buying 6tag! Well done! I see many job opportunities coming if not already there!!
  • Thanks for clarifying Rudy.
    Sounds good.
  • Any news on the "suspicious account" thing?
  • If you use #6tag instagram will not mark you anymore but the account thing only works on when you keep using hash tags
  • Instaramon? Instanoodle? Instagram owns insta now?
  • Omg i amz so glads instagram have done this i would have been well confused and thought i was usings the proper instagrams thank you xxxx
  • I just hope he makes it available worldwide, I'm sick of switching to the US store just to download apps or update them!
  • Since he's not American, I wouldn't imagine it would be US only.
  • Yes worldwide (except china for the first release, but I will add it just after (to be sure to pass the first certification)
  • I have apps in Chinese, released in China... I didn't know there was anything different about releasing there. :-/
  • When you submit an app, you can choose "worldwide (except china)" or "worldwide including china"
    The difference is that with China, testers will also test if all is ok with the content (pornography, violence, etc..).
    An example : I have some problem to publish TVShow in China, cause some tvshows has nudity. So first I publish worldwide except china, to be sure to be validated and after I submit with china
  • Ah, thanks.
  • Wohooo! Thanks! :D
    Although I had to switch to US to download your TVShow app because I loved it! But I guess it's from the country itself that restricted it not your fault ;)
  • Hey Rudy, love your work. Can you please update TVshow one day soon? Its just a tad laggy. And sometimes doesnt save after i have checked off episodes i have watched. For example, I have naruto shippuden pinned to the front. I select it and check off episodes I have watched. Back out of the app and go back in and sometimes the data hasnt saved. Thanks!
  • I do find the new name 6tag fits the whole @Rudy Huyn branded apps! 6sec, 9gags and now 6tag. Love it better than 6tamatic actually
  • 6tag is a much better name. :)
  • For wp7 please
  • That is coming. Patience friend.
  • I thought the zeitgeist train had left instagram station.
  • I'm sueing if anyone uses the letters a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,I,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x, or y. Its ok to use Z. On second thought, "no". I'll sue your ass off if you use Z either.
  • RIGHT!
  • for information, I asked if it's only me or everybody and it seems that other (android/w8/wp/ios) developers will receive an email in the next days.
    The rule is : don't use "gram" or "insta" in your app name, and it can't sound like "instagram" if you use Instagram service
  • It would be nice if Instagram would like to "solidify their brand" by getting off their asses and making an app. But instead they are content to sit on the sidelines and poke and prod at the people who do care enough to make an app. Not that I give a shit... I will never use their service because they frankly just come off as d*cks.
  • I am every day more happy not to have used their "precious" API at all, with Instagraph  ;)
  • bad news, it's not about Instagram API, is about Instagram platform, even apps that only add frames is included, you will receive an email very soon ;)
  • Not bad news at all for Instagraph, it is not a 3rd party app (and my second name is "Insta Graph" ;)
    Anyway I could rename il to iViagram :D
  • Um... Instance still has "Insta" in the name. Will the developer have to change the name again? I like 6tag, it matches the format of 6sec.
  • Good point!
  • pretty sure, as well as Instapic, Metrogram and  Instagraph (even if veneasoft says no (he edited its message))
  • I confirm, Instagraph will not change its name (it is not a "connected app" like 6tagram, Instagraph is not a full client but  an independent uploader free from Instagram API slavery) (message not edited)
  • I'll try to visit you in prison...
    and I'll have to say that I admire your guts
    also the progra...app is not too bad
  • 6tagra :)
  • I love my windows phone, but all of these odd named clones of real apps only highlights for me that the app gap is larger than advertised. Even the apps that I use every day lack many of the features of their mature counterparts on Android or iOS.
    Windows phone 8 is a great OS and I can tell that Nokia is doing everything that they can to make their devices awesome, and my 920 is awesome. But, every time I come into the Windows Phone Central app and see stories regarding some more knock off apps with bizarre names it makes me feel like I will likely never see the apps I really want or the full featured versions of the ones that are actually here. The "New and Rising" section of the Windows Phone Market is always kind of sad too.
  • The only ones like that are 3rd party apps for instagram and YouTube.
  • Why is it that people that makes comments in the comments section include IMOs and IMOHs?? You're in the comment section.. Of course its your opinion... Duhh!!!
  • +920
  • Instagram spends the same amount of resources ticking off our developers as the amount of resources required to make an official app, therefore making 3rd party clients obsolete. #idiotic
  • I would have called it 6ipster.
  • Why not just remove the letter "a" in gram?? 6tagrm...
  • Nice!
  • What happened with 6degrees?
  • 6tag is a better name, imo.
  • Arghh i just can't wait for the app to get alive! For Instance as well.... *cross fingers*
  • How about "innstagrahm" or "innstagrm" or "6stagrahm"?
    They cant trademark phonetics.
  • What about Inn Star Graham?
  • viagram ?
  • How about instagram actually building an official app for wp8, Jesus, they are so worried about developers from wp8 using the word gram... Even though they see see wp8 as a minority.. Why not just jump on the bandwagon and bloody build the thing.
  • You know I have no interest in Instagram now and when/if an official app comes along I refuse to install it on my phone.  I think the Windows Phone shunning has gone on long enough!  It's douchy to make developers change the name of their apps when your own company won't even support Windows Phone properly.  Don't get me started on Youtube which was SO much better before Google.
  • If instagram dont want his name used then make the real one, thats sounds silly for me
  • What's the point of having a poll if you're just going to ignore the poll results anyway?
  • It was a poll and not an election. A poll gives feedback of what people are thinking, but it doesn't mean it is the only thing which goes into making the final decision.
  • Sure but when fans clearly leaned toward another name but it wasn't chosen, it just makes it disingenous. Just say you're feeling out for names and feedback is appreciated but don't give off the impression that any of that feedback actually matters in the end. 
  • Oh please. So just because the result of the poll was not used as the official name means it doesn't matter? It may have mattered, but there may have been other things which also mattered. The develop takes all the things that matter into account when making a final decision.
  • So does this mean we have to wait another few more days due to the name change??
  • At this point, why won't Microsoft just create a competing platform against Instagram?  It's not the most revolutionary of things.  It was a great idea that hit the market at the right time.  BUT, why not create their own picture sharing social media platform similar to them creating outlook.com to compete against gmail?  They could link it with their Skydrive (or whatever it's going to soon be called) and the XBox 360/One to help bolster users.  
  • They should just buy and promote Fhotoroom. :)
  • Yep!  Why not right?  Instead of mulling over the rules Instagram sets, just buy Fhotoroom or create their own. 
  • COME ON release dude !!!!!!! I WAITING
  • So instagram invests all this time and resources to squeeze third party windows phone developers while shunting the windows user community, but do not bother to invest in the ecosystem themselves. Pretty petty
  • Immediaounce!
  • Instagram won't be around forever, not sure why they don't maximize their growth as much as possible. People don't even use Instagram as much as they did a year ago.
  • Also, us WP users should band together and download as many apps as possible and rate or write reviews for them, to encourage developers. Of course after doing so, you can delete them at your own discretion.
  • It's killing me that people are taking issues and winning arguments, with everyday common words found in the dictionary. "Sky", "Metro" and now "Insta" and "gram"? What's next? "This"? "Is"? "Bullshit"?
  • itsthedamn
  • maybe "6degreesofseperation"???
  • Lol awesome!
  • will it work with WP 7.x ? :D
  • It'll be cool. With 6sec and 6tag, Rudy Huyn will have, like, an idenitfiable common brand for his social apps. Maybe later we'll have 6book and 6pin.
  • Oh okay I gotcha yes that's annoying
  • I personally don't like the 6 but it's am awesome app!
  • apps like that should get priority from MS on approve
  • can't wait for this one.
  • It's been a looooong 72 hours.... Still waiting for this app to drop.