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Instagram app appears for Windows Phone, but you can’t have it (because it’s not real)

April fools. We’re writing this story for one reason: to get all of our awesome loyal fans to stop tipping us on Instagram becoming available for Windows Phone. News flash: it’s not.

The app in question went live in the Store on March 31st in beta form and cannot be downloaded by the public. In the app description, all of the features of the hipster photo app are given along with mentions of Windows Phone 8 support and a “Modern User Interface by Sarper Erel”, who happened to have made an Instagram “concept” for Windows Phone 7 back one year ago in 2012.

That's just where some of the weirdness begins...

Fake Instagram

There’s also of course the last bullet point in the app description that a few have glossed over: “And Happy April 1st 2013!.". Ahem.

Let us just clear a few things up: if Instagram was about to come out, we’d surely know about it. Trust us. This is not it, even though the company name, Burbn Inc. is the right one for Instagram.

So how did this happen? Simple, anyone with a developer account can make a private beta on the Windows Phone Store and have the app say whatever they want to say.Throw in some screenshots designed by someone else as a "project" from one year ago and hey-ho, you have a fake listing that looks almost real. Almost.

Fake Instagram

Let’s look at a few other oddities here, just to be safe:

  • It’s April first
  • The app description makes mention of April 1st
  • The app was published on March 31st
  • It’s conveniently a private beta, meaning no one can test it
  • The app design is based off of a 2012 concept that was a made “in a day”

Do we need to go on? Sorry folks, no Instagram. at least not today. Indeed, we have a feeling we’ll be fighting off quite a few rumors and “news” today, so just have fun and take it all with a grain of salt.

Oh and if you want to see the app yourself in the Store, knock yourself out.

QR: Fake Instagram

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Why do that
  • I know seriously its pathetic. We should contact Instagram on the price of developer cost and start a kick starter for a full featured WP8/WP7 App.. I guarantee In TWO days we would raise enough...
  • This
  • Like seriously developers shouldn't complain about porting apps to other platforms when community funding is readily available. Its the new wave, community is funding all the developers need to do is make the product.
  • There's one alternative that many people probably haven't thought of.
    Because of API restriction, third party apps can view, but not post images to the service.
    Hipstamatic has a special agreement with Instagram that allow images from Hipstamatic to be upload into Instagram.
    We could just convince Hipstamatic to develope for Windows Phone.
  • I don't care for Instagram but my nephews & nieces won't move to WP tell they have their beloved Instagram so for this alone I would donate to a kick starter project.
  • Sure, but where is vlc player / a detail on when it is coming around?
  • Well it's owned by Facebook, who are supposed to be releasing their own aneroid based phone. It's possible that they don't want to give WP8 any more market share prior to release of that, especially considering they need to fix their mobile offerings.
  • Like YouTube the worst part is the app is done, just not released
  • why care about such an idiotic servic in the first place?
  • For the same reason you might want a notification center, subway surfers, or better MS office integration or remote PC control. Everyone wants different things/different needs. Personally I dint care for Instagram, but I want the new MySpace app, reverbnation and a better soundcloud app and better Facebook app for pages support, why because I'm a musician. My friend does graphic work and photo shoots for my album releases and he can't live/work for me without Instagram.
  • Sad thing is even if the money for development were handed to Instagram, they still wouldn't do it. It's more about the long term extortion of MS. More $$ over the long term. It's effing sleezy but high profile apps will continue to do this until WP is a bigger percentage of the overall market.
  • To toy with your heart.
  • Because it's April 1st.
  • LOL. The version no. says
    Somebody is good at this.
  • People go way too far with the April fools. I swear the holiday makes me want to punch people in the face. It obvious the app is fake. I think they would use the same icon design.
  • Seriously, Kevin and I were discussing that tonight at dinner. I'm tempted to take the whole day off and just drink because the "news" will be full of stupid. Sigh. 
  • Somebody say drink??
  • +1
  • Just don't drink everytime someone mentions IG. You'll get cirrhosis.
  • What a sad day will be today! 
  • New WPC tradition: Reader meet up with staff to drink all day. All news apps unpinned and unused. Every April 1st. Or: The WPCentral "Everything is fake today so let's just have a podcast" special edition podcast. With drinking.
  • +10
  • Is there a chance if this gets out in the news that it could actually help us get Instagram in the long run buy causing a stir and putting even more pressure on the creators of Instagram to develop a app?? Maybe this will work to our advantage, or maybe this joke was a elaborate scheme to help us get Instagram.. IDK, I'm just trying to make light of the situation.
    If this an April fools joke, maybe it push the Microsof to pay enough and provide us faster than they is planing, because if not, Microsoft will be the JOKE of the month.
  • We all need to be like "Albino Guy" from Benchwarmers and hide from the sun!! At least for today...
  •   But it make me think that the Instagram and publisher name are not "reserved" on the store, what make me think that the real Instagram unfortunately are far away from us.  
  • Humm!!
  • It's not a holiday..
  • I don't get why people get so riled up because of a joke...
    It's not like there was a promise to puplish this app. It seems people nowadays can't distinguish between priviledge and right.
  • I am going to cry. This is just awful. Smh
  • D'awww... Way to crush our hopes and dreams.
  • #AFD
  • This guy needs a punch or alternativiely a Lumia 920 throw at his face.
    There's a joke but then there's going too far, it's not your company you can't do this.
  • Iv dropped a Nokia lumia 920 on my head before now, several times! Id not wish that pain on no one, except the guy that did this joke, this guy is welcome to many throws at his face!!!!
  • Now that's just cruel...
  • hopefully we will be able to download it by tomorrow!!
  • Download a fake, non-working app?
  • ^^^ hilarious
  • We are hoping Daniel, and we know it won't happen. We know it is fake, we just choose to be in denial.
  • Actually mess with ppl
  • I pretty much didn't bother getting my hopes up. I've accepted WP will probably never get Instagram. And that's fine by me. I will live and keep enjoying Windows Phone.
  • Not cool yo.
  • Gone too far lol.. Just kidding, gotta learn to have some fun and loosen up a little.. :)
  • This is cruel.
  • Some people need a life...
    And with that said...
    I'm going back to Monster Hunter
  • saw it on twitter too, windows phone daily got tricked by it. that's why i only read this site because you guy don't fall for stuff...thanks WPCentral.
  • But that's gone piss a lot of people off though..
  • Instagram is coming!
  • Well...mines downloaded. O_o APRIL FOOLS!
  • *Punches face* .... There :)
  • WHY!!?!?!?!?! D:
  • I think that devs that submit fake apps should be reprimanded (and I praise developers constantly). There are many devs that take app development seriously and use it as a business, and having fake apps just causes a stir and a level of untrustworthiness between developers or the platform and its customers. Microsoft should remove the app.
  • And this is coming from someone that has never used instagram a day in my life! Lol! I just think that they actually violated some terms of agreement between devs and Microsoft...
  • This really, really sucks. As much as I hate it, we need Instagram. Making this even as a joke isnt funny! :(
    But I want to know why Microsoft has let this be published? Or does it not pass through their certification since it is a private app?
  • "Or does it not pass through their certification since it is a private app?"
  • Is it me, or is there no way to like a comment inside an article, just the forums? Some comments r just too funny, and I want to just press a button rather than respond, LOL.
  • What???
  • Lol nice one. Will make alot of people angry though. Haha :P
  • A 4MB fake app?
  • That's what I was wondering, since I checked Photoplay and it's 4mb also.
  • I've been emailing Instagram forever, a ton. I know this ones fake, but I hope that this is a sign that it's coming. Sort of like the [adult swim] Toonami April Fools Day that a few months later got a spot on Saturdays on tv.
  • The part that throws me off is it doesn't require permission to use either camera. An essential part of instagram, this has to be fake & a lame AFD "joke".
  • I thought it was funny
  • Definitely a cruel joke.  But let's get serious... once we finally do get Instagram, the hype will die over and no one will care anymore.  It's a lame excuse for people use who are afraid to jump on board.
  • Plus those pictures in the screenshots are old.
  • Taken from Microsoft's Dev center under app certification requirements:.
    1.2 Your app must be fully functional when the customer gets it from the Windows Store
    The Windows Store offers only fully functional apps to provide customers with the best experience. Anything that might cause our testers to think that your app is not completely finished will cause your app to fail certification. I don't think April fools jokes are a part of the deal.
  • Exactly, I dont think someone will go so much as this to play a simple april fool prank on basically MS themselves and their customers. So either it is true or this guy should be punished.
  • This was a private beta.
  • They deserve it. Their tears taste great with Peeps. :]
  • Lol :D
  • Instafool'd
  • Dan im sorry you had to waste your time writing this article but these comments are pretty entertaining
  • +1
  • Good thing I don't care about instagram
  • I'm thoroughly enjoying Photoplay- Instawhat?
  • Unfortunate. My girlfriend would've gotten a windows phone
  • Its already removed! Was a fake!!
  • Why does it still show up at I'm sorry, I'm not really familiar with beta testing, etc. Would it still be in the store if it was a beta test?
  • Well, actually I think this may be the real Instagram app  Since the publisher is "Burbn Inc", who releases the iPhone and Android version of Instagram  So the real app will be available soon IMO.
  • Oh, I didn't know that, maybe so... Well what about the "Happy April 1st..." If it is a beta app, do u think the devs were just giving a shout out to whoevers testing it?
  • That was quick. I wanted to see it in the market place, but I can't get to it now. Seems they might have removed it. The link says bad URL.
  • Am I the only one that still sees it at maybe I should clear my cache, lol.
  • Nope I still got it too :) this was on my phone so yeah still in market. I think its real but they are teasing it and will release when its ready?
  • Odd thing for someone to aspire to be thought of as a douchebag.
  • Womp!
  • Lets grow the hell up.
  • Look here, people. The only way we can get our platform attention from Android and Iphone users is to bring this app to the platform. Whether you like it or not, to grow our platform, we need this app. People will switch for this app, trust me. 
  • +1
  • There are two things that I am so feed up with, the gay marriage debate and instagram..  Who cares?
  • Millions of people, obviously.
  • Will gay marriage law allow threesome marriages too? As there are many cases where three people fall in love and stay together.
  • Will it allow threesome marriages? I sure hope so. 2 wives > 1 in some cases.
  • One suspicion was the use of a different instagram logo,but if you go to the instagram site, and you look at the iPhone version, it'll have that same WP logo on the iPhone's "upload a pic" button, so technically the supposed WP app has an official logo.
  • Oh man I got so excited when I saw the notification of this news on my phone...
  • Oh come on its only fun where's your sense of humor lol.
  • submit a fake beta on the 31st, and crush everyones hopes and dreams. then comes April first, and BAM submit the real full app..
    everyone fooled :P anyhow, its sad that such a stupid app, is shaking the WP ecosystem
  • Lol. Real stupid app..
  • It's not even April 1st & already these things are popping up! Smh.
    And now it looks like it's already been taken down.
  • Maybe the app means that Instagram is coming soon?
  • Damn. Missed seeing it by a few minutes.
  • Go to wmpoweruser, the link is still there.
  • FYI
    1. Publisher names are unique and cannot co-exist with an existing one. Picking a publisher name is done before Microsoft sets up your dev account.
    "Publisher Name is the name users will see on their phone. Publisher names are unique and will be verified during the registration and Microsoft account validation processes."
    "If you receive a publisher name conflict error message, the error indicates that the globally unique publisher name you provided is already in use on Dev Center. Your options are either to provide a new publisher name or to dispute the use by someone else if you have rights to the publisher name."
    2. Just because the date says 31/03/2013 doesn't mean that the app was done overnight. This date indicates when was the app submitted to the Store.
    3. The app is still in Store.
    4. They used the concept images as a placeholder because it's a private beta app, and because it fits in nicely with WP interface, so they obviously paid Sarper Erel and credited him nicely in the info box.
  • So... It can't be Microsofts joke?
  • It's still up on my side. The URL, at least. And it still looks to be there, on my end, after a reload.
  • btw that guy is turkish (me too) so its probably fake. i mentioned him in twitter and ask why he did such a cruel joke :) waiting for a reply.
  • Its a April Fools → coming soon thing guys. It'll be here soon. No source.
  • Even though it is fake, the url is still up, at least the link I'm using.
  • I think there is a reality to this joke. The publisher is original Instagram publisher and also the logo looks professionally done to my eyes. Also if you search for the name "Instagram" on store, you will find no apps exactly named as Instagram. So I guess it is restricted to give the name "Instagram" to an app unless you are the original publisher or Microsoft (can anybody confirm this?).
    In short this joke increased my hopes. We might see Instagram on WP in a few weeks!
  • I did agree with U.
  • overly optimistic zulu :p
  • Chill out. It's one app. Damn.
  • Whats Instagram? Why would I want this app? Seems everyone is interested in it.
  • My Family who are Filled with iOS and android use it
  • So suppose this is a joke? From instagram themselves or what?
  • April Fools!  
  • Wtf
  • Soo.. Just from reading everyone's comments, I believe one of two things has happened: The Windows Phone store has been HACKED. Or Instagram will be released VERY soon.
  • If it was hacked. MS would've said something. But they didn't  so I think this is the real app
  • The publisher is the real owner of Instagram :S
  • Good joke... But this instagram thing is getting too much!
  • still this instagram? I'm trying to forget about this useless app.
  • Dear 12 years old girl, stop requesting this app.
  • iNstagram folks has now made joke of themselves by not releasing a wp app. I am out now. I dont need an instagram app any more. I can live without it........
  • Weird. The app was updated to Beta and the List changed and the app date is now 1/04/2013 According to peacefulberry's link 
      100% free custom designed filters and borders
    ☆ Lux works its magic by making your photos more vibrant and brings out details in your photos you couldn't see before
    ☆ Linear and Radial Tilt-Shift blur effects for extra depth of field.
    ☆ Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare
    ☆ Interact with friends through giving & receiving likes and comments
    ☆ Works with Windows Phone 8
    ☆ Tightly integrated with Lens, Photo Hub, and the popular Windows Phone photo apps
    Doesn't say happy April 1st anymore unless you refresh it 

  • The requirements also changed
      media playback data services movement and directional sensor HD720P (720x1280) WVGA (480x800) WXGA (768x1280)   they added HD720P screen
  • I have a gut feeling this is the the official instagram app
  • Maybe :D
    From MSDN page :)
    Since beta participation is by invite only, your beta won’t be searchable on the Store.
  • Hey, "Instagram" is updated! :p
    it says last updated 4/1/2013
    and version number is changed to
    i hope it's still april's fool
  • PhotoPlay anyone?
  • I follow you already :-) cool pics man 
  • By the time Instagram comes on Windows Phone, it'll already be out of fashion, like Temple Run or Draw Something.
  • +1
  • I just realized version number is
    4/1/2013 LOL
    btw, here is msdn support about Beta Testing :)
  • If this is a HOAX i would say to the DEV FFFFFFUUUUUUU Biatch 
  • Instagram fiends really need to get a freaking grip:
    - With the reality that its not coming to WP8, and......
    - With the fact that this was a very clever joke done in good fun. Just relax and enjoy your WP.
  • wait has anyone tried to download it manually?
  • I've downloaded it and when I want to install the application, it says that I can't install the application because that's not allowed
  • This kind of jokes reminds me how the Store is weak compares to others , this kind of jokes should be forbidden :(
  • If this isn't a prelude to the real deal, if I were the dev I'd be wary of walking into a crowded room full of WP users and announcing my name. Yes, some of us take life too serious but if that is your only defense, tell that to the nurse that's stitching up your eye after colliding with a beer bottle, or Lumia 920. And no, that wouldn't be me on the other end. Never seen Instagram, probably never will. Just sayin', in today's volatile climate of second amendment rights debate - right or wrong - be careful of the words you say, keep them soft and sweet. You'll never know from day to day the ones you'll have to eat. In other words, pick your April fools jokes wisely. Perhaps this op-ed is a bit over the top, come to think of it.
  • How could this guy, be sure that his app would be publish the 31 of Mars, either WS. has something to do with this joke, or the guy was very lucky or ...
  • I just don't understand why its so difficult for this app to come to windows phone. Gotta wonder if google or apple is behind this somehow.
  • There seems to be a lot of humourless individuals commenting this article. Relax, its just one app and a pretty funny first April joke. Its always funny to joke with humourless people and when some maniac says he wanna punch people, its a bullseye. Well played by MS and burbn inc. I also used this  on my Swedish nokiablog.
  • It's not funny.
  • The design is actually pretty slick. I dig it much more than the iOS/android designs. So many possibilities
  • exactly
  • I can't believe people here are rationalizing that this is a real app so much that they are starting to believe themselves. It's in private beta which means no cert, no official testing, doesn't have to adhere to guidelines and not searchable. It's just a link. Btw, yes the pub is Burbn lnc and you do have to choose a name when you register but remember...upper case I's look exactly like lower case L's in the Segue UI font. Hell my previous sentence I used a lower case L when I just wrote lnc (and again right there). It's a fake, case closed.
  • Ah yes, but if you do tap on the publisher name, and look at the title which is in all caps, it will say BURBN INC instead of BURBN LNC, and publisher names aren't interchangeable, corporate or individual it applies to both. So if this guys a real fake then the current Burbn Inc. would be revoked as instagram claims both copyright to app name and publisher name, so either that happens or this is the real deal
  • Well you can simply copy n paste the publisher's name and search to see what the results would be
  • -_-" THIS IS SO RETARDED! I got my hopes up for this app, but then of course it had to be a fake one because some douchebag developer thought it be funny! But its not! I got this phone and was going to return it for not having instagram! All my friends are on and I enjoy it. But I didn't, I thought you know what give it a chance! (Yolo) I'm a little pissed because instead of making fake apps. How about developers stop trolling us, do their job and start making fun useful apps?
  • the version number for the app is   I mean come on people pay attention
  • Maybe it's coming soon, possably today but, an issue with it, it might be beta for some users that have access to and someone clicked the pubic view by mistake...
    Personally this is one of those apps I could care less about but, I know it's big for the platform..
  • Lol
    Reminds me of last year's April's fool !
    "I Tap In The Bathroom, I Tap In The Kitchen ..." Todd Smith !
  • Maybe Microsoft waited for April 1st to release the fools-version, then they will release the final version later (with a high probability.) so they wont disappoint us wp users.
  • One day, instagram will be on WP. One day...
  • Mean, but nice trick. :-P
  • didn't believe it for one second, although oddly enough instagram was released for android on april 3, 2012...wldn't it be cruel -for those craving instagram for WP- if the actual instagram developers are the one's behind this? However, I think that an IG app has has been ready for release for at least a few months but they are taking the "business approach", if you will. I mean, it doesn't/shouldn't take THAT long to code an app for WP if you're a professional.
  • It may nit be that we want the app, but that we want more users on our platform and we want to beat Google and Apple, so to do that we need Instagram so those other users will want to switch to Windows Phone. That's why we want it.
  • Who hell wants Facebook phone? I don't. It's just a joke so zukerberg can make more money. Also instagram is so gay. What's more popular is text messenger like wechat or line is more fun. Who wants post photos boring....
  • When Facebook bought Instagram the Instragram owners became overnight millionaires. It would surely need more inspiration than money to make them work again esp to create apps for upcoming platform. Maybe one day they might do that for the eager people on WP.
  • It would be Facebook developing it now not the x owner
  • Aprils fools jokes are lame and epic fails.
  • Lmao there should be no rages here. Who didn't know this was coming?
  • Why play this silly trick on us. Grow up guys lol
  • Now the page is off... Ok M$.
  • It has been pulled from the store.
  • And it has been removed from the store. Oh well. It was fake anyway.
  • Odd. Microsoft owns part of Facebook. Facebook owns instagram I think?? So Microsoft owns part of instagram.. And they are keeping it from us :'(
  • thanks for the tips :p
  • i bet theyre laughing at those who anticipate IG vry much. douchebags.
  • if windows got instagram i would get a windows phone and im sure their are many others like me.
  • Another stupid April FOOLS joke...are we 12 years old yet ? OMG how pathetic.