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Instagram launches PWA in Microsoft Store with direct messaging

Instagram Progressive Web App
Instagram Progressive Web App (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Instagram PWA is now available through the Microsoft Store.
  • The PWA is available as an update through Instagram's normal store listing.
  • This update also adds support for direct messaging on desktop.

We first caught wind that Instagram was set to bring its progressive web app (PWA) to the Microsoft Store in December, and now it's here. The latest update to the Instagram app for Windows 10 brings the PWA to PCs, which brings a couple of benefits. It also adds support for direct messages, which Instagram first announced were coming to desktop in January.

As a PWA, the app feels very much like using the website, but in a shell that feels like a native Windows 10 app. The move also means that new features and updates should make it to desktop PCs faster, as any change Instagram makes on the web should propogate to the PWA without much fuss. We've seen this in action with the Twitter app, which has seen frequent updates since it made the move to become a PWA in 2018.

If you're using a Windows 10 on ARM device, like the Surface Pro X, it's likely you'll notice better performance out of the Instagram app as well.

Instagram PWA

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Lastly, the arrival of direct messages on desktop means you'll no longer have to switch over to your phone to respond to or send messages. Curiously, this feature still isn't live on the website if you visit in in a browser. Still, it's an important update that should make using Instagram at your PC a little more pleasant.

You can grab this update now on the Microsoft Store with Instagram version 42.0.2.0.

Thanks to Jean Blanc for the tip!

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

21 Comments
  • wtf do ya'll mean I've been able to DM on desktop since the app launched
  • Yup! But now I can't figure out how to upload pictures from my PC ...🙄
  • You can't now, the Share option has gone as it's a PWA now.
  • They need to at least support Share option and ability to upload photos from the app themselves.
  • Not likely to happen. The 'new, improved, PROGRESSIVE' app is nothing more than a website, you may as well put the link to Instagram on your desktop/start screen.
  • Pathetic, they've now removed the only way to upload pictures from the PC as the app can no longer be used as a Share target. 'Progressive' ? Gone backwards more like
  • Yeah it's annoying. I have no idea why Instagram doesn't want people to upload from their PC.
  • It seems to be a legit move since Instagram is open and loud about not wanting people to upload pictures modified and manipulated by other means than the app itself.
  • 1 Step forward, 2 steps back. Hopefully they will implement the missing Share feature. I don't want to use my phone if I already have a photo to upload from my PC.
  • Instagram app is one of the worst applications on Windows Store.
  • In general I am happy to see new apps in the Microsoft Store especially when it comes to PWA. Only everything happens the way we got used to by Microsoft. All PWAs need to use the legacy Edge HTML engine when it comes down to rendering. So anybody leveraging the new technology Microsoft is pushing will end up with an app that is not subpar with native controls, but actually renders in a horrible performance. Probably also due to Edge being on mechanical ventilation. I can do no more than stand in awe how every task I attempt to fulfill on a full desktop environment with double the specs of my phone takes 4 times as much time either due to performance or UX design.
  • Yep, this right here ^
  • After reading the reviews at the Store on this new version, you might want to think twice before installing.
  • I wish I could go back... the new app is useless crap.
  • You won't have a choice if you already use the old app, it will auto-update.
  • Facebook will leave the Microsoft Store, i thought it the same for Instagram.
  • With PWA, there's no reason not to be in the store. If Facebook ever goes PWA, they'll likely be back.
  • Tired of these half-baked apps by these cheap companies and lazy developers. The app still suck.
  • The new app is useless junk, it used to be much better.
  • BS. An instagram app that can't upload pictures... what's the point? The old app, while a bit gimped, at least worked (with uploading only on touchscreen PCs - and DMs too, don't know where the idea you couldn't came from). Completely useless now.
  • The removed the ability to send screen snips... You can't see dissapearing images, and you open an image you get sent. You can only see the cropped preview, and can't see any more. This update is a downgrade...