Hands on with the official Instagram app for Windows Phone 8

We waited a very long time, but it’s finally here! The official Instagram app for Windows Phone is now live at the Windows Phone Store. We’ve been using third-party apps like 6tag, but we’re finally happy to say there’s an official app. We put the app in front our camcorder to show you how it looks on our phone. Watch the video after the break!

Instagram is labeling the app as beta with version number 0.1. It makes sense because some features are missing. 

After signing in, you see your timeline. Scrolling is very smooth. You can double-tap to like photos. The top right corner tells you when the photos were taken. You can also see the number of likes and comments below each photo.

One of the things missing is a quick way to reply to comments. There’s no press-and hold or swipe-to-reply to comment. You can type the @ sign but only names of who you follow will be auto-completed.

From the main screen, you can swipe left or right. There’s the explore section which is a good way to find new and interesting people.

Videos do not play automatically. We personally like that, but don’t know if you prefer autoplay. There’s also the notifications section. It shows new followers, likes, or comments. Tap the three dots on the lower right corner to check your following news. This shows what your friends like or whom they’re following recently.

To take photos, click the Instagram logo at the bottom. You have an option to select a photo from your gallery or you can take a photo from within the app. The official filters are there in addition to frames, blur, and Lux. That button adds brightness and contrast to the your photos, so definitely play with that.

In addition to Instagram’s network of 150 million people, you can share your photos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare, and VKontakte. You can set up your accounts in settings.

We’re quite happy the official app is here, but there are some missing features. Video playback is there, but we can’t upload yet. We also can’t tag people in the photos. Fine rotation is also missing. You can only rotate 90 degrees at a time. This app is still beta and it’s only version 0.1, so we’re not really complaining. We look forward to more updates from Instagram.

Instagram (beta) is a free download at the Windows Phone Store. What are you waiting for? Go download it now and let us know what you think in the comments!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

147 Comments
  • This is nuts!
  • Follow me (@kaaspparas) if you want to. And if don't, do not. :D
  • You follow meeeeee, @dgcsg, i follow every  windows phone user back :)
  • I do not follow. I lead.
  • LOL +920
  • Hahahaha
  • lol... hahahahaaha...
  • *clap *clap Bravo
  • Followed @epicincognito
  • Is it for WP7.x as well?
  • Nope. Time to upgrade tho, me thinks.
  • Long live HTC HD2!!!!
  • Finally! Now all I need is Path and I'm a happy camper! I'd wish they'd make that available in Beta aswell. -han
  • Couldn't agree more!! Need path, then I can live happily. #socialmediaslave #notproud
  • What is path? I understand it is a social app but that's it
  • Definitely. Path is very popular here. My friends recently decide to abandon his BB and move to Android, as Path is not become available yet in WP.
  • When the Lumia 1020 came out, Nokia said Path would come to WP.
  • True, but that is ages ago and nothing has happened yet. -han
  • I am waiting for it to allow me to create an account. I've been trying...
  • Still can't register through this app.
  • Might be region limited still. Works here st Bay Area Cali. I just registered and everything seems to work.
  • 6tag is way better. But it's good the official app is now live in the WP store.
  • Love love love! So much love for windows phone universe!
  • With Instagram, the apps in WP store just passed 190,000 mark this week. http://www.zdnet.com/instagram-now-one-of-the-190000-apps-now-in-the-windows-phone-store-7000023434/
  • Crashes for me when I select the camera button. Lumia 1020. Anyone else?
  • Same for me, Lumia 920, but for me crashes after I take photo and app closes itself, but if I select from libary then it works
  • Did same for me on my 520. As ridiculous as it sounds, I tried turning my phone off and back on and it now works fine. Maybe a glitch in the signing in process or something like the vine app had at first?
  • I have to press the camera button sometimes more then 10 times before it opens up, a friend of mine on instagram has the same problem, both using a Lumia 920 :)    
  • I'm also experiencing the same problem and i own a 920 as well.  Everytime I click the camera button it takes a while then it crashes.  Tried restarting and it didnt solve the issue.  Please let me know if you come across a solution. Thank god 6tag is still around.
  • hmmm, restarting my device won't help :(
  • Same here. Frustrating. But i will wait for it to get fixed.
  • No crash,but it take a long time to open it after I click it...
  • It works just fine on my 925. Just didn't like the app for now. Imma sick with 6tag.
  • Same :(
  • Here's the thing. The fact that we have this app on the our phones makes it a check on the official app list. Im pretty sure most of the official companies with their apps were just waiting for this app to pop up on WP to see that WP is ripe and ready grow into a worthy ecosystem, so i think from moment on there's gonna be official apps popping left and right, And Sam, Daniel and others will soon ditch writing the articles over here about how Whatsapp got updated with bug fixes, cause there will be much more interesting stuff to write about. As myself, Im gonna keep on using 6tag, the live tile is just to awesome and i dont feel restricted in any way, will keep my eyes on the instagram though, just to see the progress. It's great news and a big day indeed for WP community. Let's hope that 8.1 will be the way that everybody wish. :)
  • I reported a bug on this, it has a custom album view so it seems to read up all pics and my guess is that there is a memory issue in how this is done if you have a lot of pics. I had 3000 pics and when i removed all but 20 it worked fine.  
  • 6tag, made by one person, came out before and is more fully featured.
  • We're very aware ;) Point is, people search for 'Instagram' and want an official app they are comfortable with. Later, they can expand to 6tag and see the real power of Windows Phone. It's a win-win.
  • I guess you can say it's.. a .. WIN-WINdows Phone... (I'll see myself out now, kthnxbye)
  • Fired. :P
  • WHAT! NO! SAMMIE! :P
  • oooooo lol
  • *slowly claps* =)
  • LOL
  • There there, Sam. *pats Sam's head in condescending manner.*
  • Or a win huyn situation :D
  • Good point. :)
  • So true. I believe Rudy himself been waiting for this news.
  • Exactly Daniel :) Do you think Instagram will update this app fast?
  • Im not Daniel but I see no reason for them to let updates lag. The sad thing is it takes upto 5 days for each updated to get to us after submitted by a Dev
  • Somewhat ironically, The official app is actually the 2nd result when you search Instagram. 6Tag is the 1st.
  • I wish that was true but, as I see it, once a regular user downloads an official app he/she will not search for a third party alternative. It's more the other way around I guess!
  • Its a really crap app compared to 6tag. Basic even for version 1.0 of a beta.
  • As I recall, 6tag wasn't introduced with all features either.
  • It had video functionality on day one.
  • Really? I rather like it. Agree about the features, but it's fast and the notifications are nice.
  • I think there is much to love here, but also still have the satisfaction of knowing that there are a half a dozen better app already in the Windows Phone Store.
  • Me too..but the upload section of the app, I feel, needs to flow a bit better. At the moment, much of this part doesn't really look "instagrammy".
  • *brb to download it*
  • Does the live tile work for anyone?
  • Works for me.
  • Huh, I wonder why it hasn't worked for me? I've had it pinned since it was released just before 2 pm, and I have live tile selected in the settings.
  • works for me too, just the 'camera' button is not easy to open :)
  • Weird. I guess I'll try the ole uninstall/reinstall.
    Edit: Yeah, that didn't work.
  • I tried restarting my device, also didn't work :(
  • I've played around with it a bit and really like it thus far.
  • No video recording???
  • This will presumably be added in a future update. Remember it is just a beta at the moment.
  • Not fast enough, im ditching you windows phone and going to switch to a proper Instagram experience on BlackBerry. :)
  • Pardon me, Blackberry?
  • Ever heard of 6Tag? If that's your only reason, then good riddance.
  • Its Coming
  • They need a auto complete feature for typing out contacts
  • it has autocomplete for people you already follow.
  • It has it for people you follow at the moment. What it really needs is autocomplete for previously used tags like the iOS version has.
  • We should be encouraged by the beta label though. It means they are, at least in the short term, likely and willing to bring us updates.
  • I really hope it. I want this app to be 99% bug-free and with all the functionality it has on iOS and Android.
  • I'm sure it will be. They've been working on it long enough! Haha.
  • yeah man :p but they would never beat Rudy xd
  • I'm not sure about that. Rudy has done a fantastic job to be sure, and he even slightly showed up the official iOS and android apps...but as far as I can work out, this wasn't his aim. His aim was to fill a void for Windows Phone users that was missing for us, be it with vine or Instagram or whatever. Now not saying there's now no place for 6sec or 6tag, because at the moment I do feel they are better in many ways to the original...but I don't think we should all be relying on Rudy to carry the store forward either. That's too much weight for one guy.
  • It doesn't have the same functionality as the iOS and Android versions. They've had all this time to get it right and they still find a way to screw it up. MS should have taken the time and care to make sure this critical app was ready for prime time. What a cluster####.
  • 1. The app isn't made by MS.
    2. This is a beta.
    3. It's obvious they intend to update to be on par with the iOS and android versions. Have patience.
    4. We still have 6tag to fill the gaps till they are done.
  • Good job. Now I'm still waiting for Path, Flipboard and BBM. Come on Nokia....come on Microsoft. I'm sure 100% if apps on WP are the same with iOS or android...WP will be number one.
  • Don't know Path, but yeah i agree with Flipboard and BBM, would be nice to have.
  • 100% agree. As indonesians, BBM and Path are must have apps.
  • They're all coming...
  • +1520 ;)
  • And MINION RUSH, pretty pleaseeee!!!
  • Omg. Enough already. Big deal. Lol
  • Currently listening to 'Kool & The Gang - Celebration'.
  • Keeps closing when I try to add a location to a photo. Clearly beta, but there is potential. Those of you complaining now about Path, SuperApp, or whatever that is still missing, chill. I am a recent member on Instagram and I post pics maybe once a week or a month at the most. I don't have one of the top cameras on a phone to trash my photos endlessly. While I love Flipboard on my Surface now, I will not be posting endlessly about how the OS is doomed as they don't have it yet. Or the countless Real Estate phony apps on iPhone. What is far more important to me now is seeing what Black will bring to me (already have GDR3) and then what Goldfinger and Moneypenny have in store for us for new hardware featuring Windows Phone 8.1.
  • As we made clear when Instagram was first announced, people are BOUND to have a gripe about what's missing. Now that we have Instagram, no one can use that anymore...so they will choose ever increasingly less known apps to have a complain about! Haha.
  • It takes a long time to adding full functions of instagram, if it is developed by Microsoft:P
    Facebook is a good example. Vine too.
  • Awesome! Hashtags are finally working for me! Let's just hope I don't become one of #cool #lol #swag #cute #hashtagoverload people, haha.   Also, I brought this up earlier, what do people think about the system for choosing photos from photo library? Needs a bit of a design overhaul, I believe. 
  • I like the app so far but honestly 6tag is much better. However what I find myself doing is using 6tag for uploads and instagram for browsing.
  • +920
  • Everything Works fine for me, even the Camera button.
  • i am happy with 6tag
  • ads is suck... 6tag lose :/
  • My 6tag has no ads, because i bought it as u find it a great app!
  • I can't even download the app from the store. There is no install only share. What's up with that?
  • Cuz u already have it
  • 6tag is way much better!
  • No Love for my precious WP7.8 Lumia800 , will I guess it's time to Upgrade to WP8
  • Missing dark theme and ability to save photos.
  • Ok Enough about IG lets Talk XboxOne & WP & close this comment thread
  • Only if Instagram had half the features that 6tag has. 
  • App runs excellently on Lumia820, apart from a 30-40 second delay when clicking the camera icon..
  • +920 :)
  • 2 seconds delayed on me
  • When do Lumia black cum out
  • Why is it instagram beta?
    is that only for people who installed developer preview or for everyone? Why beta?
  • Because it's beta.
  • Fuck man, no luck for Win phone 7.x...... :( im going back to iphone after 2 years
  • Instagram should buy Rudy's 6tag. Absolutely zero development time and user base of 6tag is already big. After this poor effort I cannot see any user will move from 6tag to official app.
  • Is the official Instagram app better than Rudy's 6tag??
  • Let's see here: Official Instagram app can't upload videos-check Official Instagram app can't check nearby posts-check Official Instagram app can't take pictures from within the app-check Official Instagram app can't tag users-check Sticking with 6tag because it can do all this and more-check  
  • "Following news only functions for people following fewer than 1000 users."  
  • Actually like it..
  • No video support.....that is y we wanted the official app...
  • I hope the final release includes support for getting pics from SkyDrive
  • Uploading pic fails. Bummer.
  • Seems to be working for me so far, haven't tried uploading a picture yet. Glad the official app is here although 6tag is awesome. 920 here
  • I do replay for that yoga section :)
  • Finally, 6tag was pretty annoying with its updates every hour anyway
  • They should have a versión for wp 7.8, i'll stick to Tuding.
  • I hope it will be full featured like iOS7 .
  • Instagram id-.." anky17cool " ...follow to see amazing clicks
  • 40 MB, compared to the 29 MB 6tag. With still no In-App Camera support. :P
  • Whenever I hit the camera button, it freezes and crashes. :/ But I guess its expected from beta.
  • Same here. Lets wait for them to get it fixed after beta.
  • Microsoft, go BIG or go HOME. 
  • Very miffed it's in "beta." They've obviously been working on it for a while.
  • Coming for wp7.x ? because there is already 6tag
  • I really like the design of the app, might use it from time to time instead of 6Tag. When video support comes I'm definitely using the official one because all my videos via 6Tag are so blurry.
  • They probably began working on app couple of months ago at best.
  • Can't say I've been waiting for Instagram to come to Windows Phone 8, because I've NEVER USED INSTAGRAM BEFORE!  Glad to see it available, though.... :)
  • Maybe I have to give this another try then. Used it with a couple of the unofficial versions and found the Instagram novelty extremely short lived for me. Too many really really uninteresting photos.
  • Need full feature! and why is very slow? when i tap the camera button to choose photo from gallery.. :|
  • Lucky you got it slow. Mine crashed and exit everytime... Hmmm
  • Finally instagram!!! But Lags on l520 -_-
  • I want the actual instagram logo as my tile. Not this shitty blue thing
  • What about wp7 users
  • video is not working in lumia 520.
      am i alone ?
  • Work fine for a while but then rebooted my Lumina 810 for no apparent reason. Installed and went back to Rudy.
  • people, people, people... that's a beta version. give the guys a break.
  • Please add it in windows phones 7 pleaseeee!! Can't we have some cool new apps? :(