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Instagram (beta) for Windows Phone is now here

Today, Microsoft and Facebook (Burbn) have announced the arrival of the official Instagram app for Windows Phone. It’s been a long time in the making but this is the moment you have all been waiting for.

Announced a few weeks ago in Abu Dhabi during Nokia World, Instagram for Windows Phone has been one of the most coveted and sought after applications for the rapidly growing platform. Constantly cited as the one big “missing apps” for consumers (and being one of the searched for in the Store), Instagram’s arrival has come at an opportune time, seeing as Windows Phone is gaining market share fervently these days.

The service is simple in concept and execution, but it was the right app at the right time. Users simply take photos from their smartphone (or taken live within the app) and can optionally apply a set of retro-filters, giving it a Polaroid-like effect. Users can then post the photo on their timeline within the app (also visible on the web) along with hashtags. By following and being followed, users can build up an audience around those who want a visual experience. Text is minimal as the focus is to let the image tell the story. Images can be cross-posted to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and more.

Instagram started back in 2010 with some venture capital money by Kevin Systrom and Michel Krieger, The app filled in a very large gap for smartphones at the time: the ability to share photos with a social network tie in. The app premiered on the iPhone (iOS) and in April 2012, it arrived on Android, quickly rocketing to become the top-downloaded app on both platforms. Later that year, social network juggernaut Facebook famously bought the company, powered by just 13 people at the time, for a staggering $1 billion.

The service has continued to grow with nearly 150 million monthly users, making it one of the largest social sharing services around. During its ascendant growth, Windows Phone user sat idly on the side awaiting their turn. Despite Nokia’s massive focus on imaging, which seemed like an ideal pair for the photo sharing network, Instagram continued to operate on their own timeline with the fruition of their efforts culminating in today’s release.

Instagram (beta) for Windows Phone 8 is now live in the Store, download here.

Need people to follow on Instagram? Follow some of the Windows Phone Central staff to get started:

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Introducing Instagram for Windows Phone

"Today, we’re excited to bring you Instagram for Windows Phone.

When we launched Instagram for Android in March of 2012, the community was 30 million strong and growing fast. The Instagram community is now more than 150 million people and reaches every corner of the globe.

In that past year, however, Instagram isn’t all that’s grown. We’ve also seen the rise of a new mobile platform as tens of millions of people around the world have taken to Windows Phones. Our mission is to give everyone the ability to capture and share the moments around them, so our team has been working hard to bring Instagram to Windows Phone users everywhere.

We wanted to make Instagram available to people with Windows Phones as quickly as possible, so we focused on creating an awesome experience with Instagram’s core features. 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.

Instagram is a place where people come to be inspired and connect with others, and we’re thrilled to welcome Windows Phone users to the community. We can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

Learn more about Instagram for Windows phone at help.instagram.com (opens in new tab) and download it shortly from the Windows Phone Store!"

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

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.

356 Comments
  • Insta-yes!!!!
  • insta-install
  • What's the next app we rally for??!!!??
  • Official Dropbox.
  • YESSSSS!!
  • HBO GO, Citibank and all the games mentioned will compete my experience.
  • How about we rally for the really popular games that's out there (Subway Surfers, Minions Rush, Older GTA, just to name a few) And throw in the PNC Virtual Wallet App while we are at it.
  • True these games are must
  • Guys, do you know what I have been doing to increase awareness at the very least??? And I urge more of you guys to the same, I wne to the website for all of these sites that I would like to see and app for; Allstate Car Insurance, UPS, Barclays Credit Card Service, NEST, WebMD, Time Warner Cable, Kiloo Games (Makers of subway surfers), Sharebuilder and if anyone knows about this Vmware Vsphere management app that is available for IOS, I went to OPS1. On all of these sites they have a link to like them on Facebook and twitter, I followed those Facebook links and commented on their page simply when is a mobile app for windows phone 8 and\or windows 8 coming out, I told them their customer want this and need this. And guess what all of them except Kiloo games and Ops1 replied to me telling me either it’s in the works or they will pass the suggestion along to the mobile development teams. Now…These may be BS replies I get back from them but I think if we all did this on these sites and more, whatever you guys  like to see on WP8 and win8, I think they may just end up listening.
  • How many endless runners do we need? I think these games are just about at the end of their lives. We need to rally the next trendy game so that we have within a couple of month, not over a year when most people are already bored with it.
  • Naked News
  • Youtube!!!
  • PNC Virtual Wallet app
  • Instag... Oh wait.
  • Well, before apps, we should rally for a functional notification system and live tiles that aren't consistently failing to update.   But as far as apps go, the glaring ommision is video apps like HBO Go, WatchESPN, and NBC Live Extra.
  • Dashlane plz
  • Temple run 2, candy crush, subway surfers, minion rush, pvz 2, flipboard, path.. :)
  • Minecraft!!
  • Insta-now!!! Well done Nokia... Truly well done... Finally your hard work has been paid off... Hope Microsoft continues your hard work post acquisition.
  • Microsoft ones a chunk of Facebook. Facebook owns instagram. This means Microsoft owns a some of instagram. I thought this would happen sooner :S
  • Ha!  Microsoft owns ALL of Skype and look what's happened there.
  • If Microsoft owns a chunck of Facebook, why don't we have a Facebook built Facebook-App?   
  • Seems faster than before. 
  • Now all we need is instagram!  wait...wut?
  • Haha!
  • Is it just me or you can't post videos on this version❔❔:-o
  • Video upload is coming in future updates.!
  • Hope it's soon because all tech sites are talking mad shit because of it missing :'(
  • OMG, it's still a BETA. Give them a chance to finish it up. As they said in their announcement, they are not done developing it.
  • I know, I'm cool, I'm upset at tech sites being douchebags about it!
  • or they could've waited and release a finished version...
  • I just hope the updates start rolling out soon, like by the end of this month...
  • Finally :)
  • 6tag for me but excited for official apps.
  • Do you have to be on facebook to use instagram?
  • No.
  • I never use the service really, but I too see nothing wrong with 6tag. Fb is already too much of a burden, I don't need another social networking site.! :D
  • Download it anyway just to let them see there is a interest so they can update it much faster
  • Noo!!! NOT FOR WP7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *Flips table*
  • Do you really expect WP7 support? WP8 has been out for over a year now, many new APIs/features that devs want to use are not on WP7, so sometimes making a version for both can be a real pain. Not to mention the very small install base for WP7 likely makes many devs feel it's not worth the extra effort involved in programming/testing/supporting that older software. I understand the feeling from those who still have WP7 devices, but I think it's time to understand that from many dev's POV, WP7 support just doesn't make sense.
  • Not letting me edit that, but obviously the last WP should be WP7.
  • "Small install base" isn't accurate. I'm pretty sure the split is now more 60/40 or 65/35 at the highest. Due to contracts I don't think WP7 is under 35%.
  • Nope. It's like 70/30 now. Edit: 70.1/29.9 to be exact http://blog.adduplex.com/2013/10/adduplex-windows-phone-statistics.html?m=1
  • I stand corrected!
  • Yes, but even if it was 35%, that's 35% of what is a very small number to begin with compared with other platforms, and an install base that is only going to get smaller and smaller.
  • it's not just the install base at the moment, wp7 won't grow, it will only shrink going forward, so why would any developper make apps for it now?
  • Yet, there are still some developers creating apps for both WP7.x and WP8 users.
  • Yes, but that's more of an exception, majority release wp8 only and going forward even more will be doing that. I have nothing against wp7, but it is what it is
  • Why apple support their old phones? Coz many people got them and still use. Ok, people complain when os works slower but it works!
  • Get a Nokia 520 on the cheap, especially on Black Friday. No excuse anymore WP7 is dead.
  • WP7 may be dying, but imagine you are the sucker who bought a shiny new Lumia 900 on release day in, what, April of 2012, and still have 5+ months on your 2yr contract. Lack of apps for WP7 is clearly not an issue for many of the commenters above who may have been late adopters or super early adopters who hit initial WP8 release as their contracts expired, but it's still a huge slap in the face for those of us buried in our WP7 contract still who have been part of this ecosystem for longer than many others here. 30% may be reducing, but that is still a huge chunk of the user base. Note: I don't even use Instagram, but it's another example of a problem that started a long time ago when the user base was above 50%.
  • I'm one of those suckers. When these apps hit, I always contemplate leaving. I had an HTC Arrive on Sprint when it came out, left Sprint for a Lumia 900 on At&t April 6th, 2012. They even changed the contract terms. I'm pissed
  • Just think, though - your contract end is lined up nicely for a snazzy new Nokia WP8.1 phone when 8.1 drops. Then when all of us are whining about the stuff that's only for 8.1 spec phones, you can serve the responses right back at us...
  • It's worth to notice, that Nokia sold over 10M WP7 devices, before they launched WP8 Lumias in September 2012. Yes it isn't comparable to size of iPhone sales or Android, but we are still talking about millions of smartphones.
  • Did you flip the table to silence it? Must be a Nokia table...
  • Waze is coming today as well. (According to Engadget).
  • Wpcentral already ran an article
  • Come onnn release this already i can't waitt !!!
  • No WP7 version?  I don't care really, but some do.
  • This is historical. Lol. Mark this day
  • I cant find it in Store! Is there any QR code?  
  • It's not live yet.
  • Supposed to be released around 2PM  eastern time.
  • Go on instagram.com/download/windows in mobile browser to download now! GO!!!!!  
  • Very unlikely I'll abandon 6tag. But,glad it's here all the same.
  • I'm really hoping this doesn't spell the end for 6tag! Has anyone heard anything from Rudy or anyone at Instagram if his app is going to be allowed to stay? After the ad avoidance feature I'm really worried!
  • For those who have WP7, UPGRADE your phone already sheesh!
  • Not everybody needs top smartphones, but they still want to the same apps. I own L710 and L928 and they both have totally different market options (apps)
  • some people are still on contract with a wp7 phone and/or don't have money to upgrade yet.
  • I agree totally with you. And i'll never spend my money in Windows Phone, i mean if i get Windows Phone 8, there's new update and we need to buy another phone, for upgrade. Windows Phone 7 only has 3 years, iPhone 4 still having updates.
  • The iphone has only had fairly minor updates to it's OS. They also allow older phones to get updates that significantly slow down the phone and really shouldn't have been allowed since they make the phone almost unusable. It's up to developers to support wp7 and becasue it has such a small percentage of users, most chose not to make apps for it. The vast majority of WP7 users should be done with their contracts or it should be expiring shortly. You won't see developers making apps for it anymore.Many android users were never able to update their phones. At least, wp7 users had reliable, fast devices that still are very usable in every way except apps. The android users were stuck with slow laggy devices that also don't run many newer apps or they crash when you attempt to run them.
  • No. no and no.  
  • I know right.  It's like the people I see occasionally walking around with an iPhone 3G.  Not 3GS.  3G!!
  • you can't tell the difference between the 3G and the 3GS from afar ¬_¬
  • Haha, I ask them about it ;)
  • Free phones on panik!!
    Roll up! Roll up! Get your free phone today
  • There are plenty of new upgrade programs available on all carriers now. T-Mobile Jump, AT&T Next, etc. No reason you can't easily upgrade if you're on contract. I understand if maybe you're tight on money but otherwise it's fairly easy now to upgrade your device. Or just drop a measly $89 to $99 on a 520/521, still a solid device for the price.
  • It's to jump from my L610 to L920 for €220 (unlocked)
  • Big win. No more excuses.
  • We need more useful apps like banking apps. 6tag is better than instagram on other platforms. I doubt the official WP will be any different.
  • The masses don't even know what a "3rd party app" is. It's a lot easier just to say, "Yes, it [WP] has Instagram.
  • Damn right! I don't really care about Instagram myself, but I do have 6tag on my phone and will definetly download the official app! We needed this regardless.  
  • Ohhh, sorry. I didn't finished the whole article and went straight to the STORE on my L920. Then went straight to the comment section!
  • Il get this for the ad free aspect of it, for free.
  • Sweet
  • That's cool at last official insta coming to wp8 :-)
  • Next up: Path and Snapchat!
  • Lol get it people
  • And any idea about flipboard launch???
  • b-but what if it's not as good as 6tag?
  • It is free. It is official. It wont have ads.
  • it belongs to facebook - if there are no adds yet - they will come
  • No wp7? Coommom im from venezuela its imposible to me buy a phone every year my 710 its obsolete
     
  • I'll never fall in Windows Phone again, this is so stupid. iPhone 4 was released in 2010 (same year than Windows Phone 7) and iPhone 4 still having updates and it still having support by Apple.
    I thought WP was so much better, but it wasn't.
     
  • Do you even know WHY apps are not being released for Windows Phone 7? If you do, you would not be comparing them to apps being released for the iPhone 4 because there is a reason that WP7 is supported the same as WP8. The difference between Windows Phone 7 and 8 is more than just the number 7 and 8 and cannot be compared to the progression of iOS 5,6,7.  
  • No. no and no.  
  • I do not use Instagramz a lot but I'm ready and waiting...
  • Yay.
  • Nokia has a whole 2 post............
  • WOOT WOOT  
  • Hopefully it will be better then 6tag, Vine is terrible compared to 6sec.
  • They have had different development cycles. Give official apps longer time, they will mature.
  • Agreed !
  • Good for
  • This amount of good news which has been going on for such a long time..weeks..it's incredible..
  • And Path is not there yet... 
  • I send a mail to Path support and they told me that they are not many people that they want Path at windows phone yet.
  • Just saw the same news on engadget and the spin they take is just ... so ... engadget.
  • oh yea?  but what about Instagram?  When is it coming?  Ooops, sorry, bad habbit to break @_@
  • Facebook should sort out its own app first!!
  • Try Facebook Beta
  • absolutely we want an official facebook app from Facebook..and then BBM and Youtube..
  • Who cares.. 6tag is the best!
  • Damn right! I don't really care about Instagram myself, but I do have 6tag on my phone and will definetly download the official app! We needed this regardless.   The folks that go into stores to by a Windows Phone, only to be told by the employee that it doesn't have Instagram or whatever other "official" app. Those are the people that care.
  • Good news for WP, I suppose.
  • Woohoo
  • According to the verge, it wont have video support.
  • WTF?!? Hope only because it's Beta! Which usually means updates are coming and whatnot, wouldn't make sense for the windows phone version to not get all the features soon?!?
  • What's next complain about WP now?
  • BBM.
  • LOL
  • instagram missing features 
  • YouTube :)
  • Square & Coin.
  • Yes
  • Youtube or Pinterest.
  • BBM , a Good notification center and 3rd row of tiles for all devices.
  • Tom Warren has been tweeting that it won't have video support
  • sadly, there are quite a few features that won't be available right away, such as video capture and uploading, photo tagging, viewing geotaxis and -- arguably the most important -- in-app image capture. Instagram explains that it wanted to get the app out to users as quickly as possible, so a few features had to be left out of the first version, but it assures us that future updates will come with plenty more functionality (as updates are often wont to do).   Read that from engadget. For now people use 6tag, as the Instagram version 1 for WP has a lot of MAJOR BODY PARTS chopped off. The app screenshots says it has a very polished UI. It's instagram but its also undoubtedly metro-ish. I like it.
  • Won't use it but will download and rate high just to prove a point to them! One less app for people to complain about missing though! One interesting thing I saw the other day was an advertised post from Square on Facebook, a LOT of comments we're complaining about no Windows Phone support. Rewind a year ago and you'd be lucky to see one. We're growing, baby!
  • Yeah - but we still don't have Snapchat... Just kidding - this is a great day for WP8 users with many more to come!
  • Yay!!! Time to screw up the beautiful pictures.
  • LOL, so true...
  • OMG i'm about going to bed, but not anymore! *staring at the clock!*
  • die android,iOS we have instagaram on our lovely platform <3 GO WP 
  • really? how old are you? 8? is not even a out of 'beta', WP still years behind iOS and Android
  • Ok so dear moaners, what's going to be the next app you will whine about and curse the platform for not having it?
  • not moaning, but I think the banking apps still have a long way to go, it'll come though eventually
  • Both Bank if America and USAA apps are wonderful!
  • Yea, with Chase, BoA, Wells Fargo and USAA, I think a lot are covered. TD, Citi and ING are the last ones that are missing that I can think of.
  • yeah, that was my point more banks need to release, I'm waiting on TD and ING, and I'm sure there are a lot of international banks that still need to release apps