Instagram not granting posting rights to unofficial Windows Phone apps

There has been a recent upsurge in interest for an official Instagram client for Windows Phone recently. The desire for the popular photo-manipulation and sharing app has been driven, in part, by numerous developers working on unofficial apps for the service. We first reported one in development by Bil Simser called 'Metogram' (later renamed to 'Photogram') and since then, two other apps have hit the Marketplace, Metogram and Instacam. The problem, however, is two fold:

  1. Instagram does not allow 3rd party access to photo uploading APIs
  2. Instgram does not allow one to register via the website, only by the official iOS app

Simser has been in contact with the head honchos of Instagram in an effort to get special permission for photo uploading. At the time, Instagram cited a somewhat dubious reason for denying such an API, namely an effort to reduce spam and low-quality images. However, Simser was determined to see if an exception could be made in this case seeing as Windows Phone users do not have any options.

That request has now been denied by Instagram. In an email to his beta testers (we're amongst them), Simser notes that since Instagram is not allowing uploads:

"I made a plea to Instagram and got a response in the form of a few email exchanges with Kevin Systrom the CEO. Unfortunately they are still taking the high road and not offering upload capabilities or white-listing any application at this point. I have my own thoughts around why this is but the short of it is that they are not white-listing at this point but Kevin did tell me to “keep in touch”."

More importantly, Simser notes that there is no way for new users to even join the network for voting or commenting on photos. These are deal-breakers for him as it would severely limit Instagram functionality in his client. Due to those reasons, Simser has decided to pull the plug on Photogram.  However, he will continue to make apps that are currently missing on the Windows Phone platform:

"I’m all about “filling the gap” on Windows Phone and want to create apps that will either be better than the “official” ones or give users the experience that a non-existent official app would. I will continue to do that (as I’m working on something right now but won’t say for whom) and you can follow that on Twitter via @bsimser or @simstools. We’ll also announce new apps on as we complete them. Shameless plug, please check out my other apps and feel free to continue to support myself and all the independent developers out there. I, as always, am available to help out so if you have an idea for an app or are looking for some help with your own app please don’t hesitate to contact me."

So bad news for Windows Phone users but perhaps Instagram will surprise us with an official app sooner than later.

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.

  • I think Microsoft needs to break out their wallet and get involved. The more tier 1 apps available on Windows Phone, the better.
  • Awwww well whatever happened to that bubblegum app? It had a decent following then stopped updating.... Apict also has potential to be the instagram of wp7
  • The devs (husband and wife team) left Microsoft a few months back. They have updated the app though as it just got a touch up about 4 or 5 weeks ago.
  • Arg, yeah I know! was signed-up to test this... what a shame. anyone (Bil, maybe) have Kevin Systrom's email? I think a bunch of people need to have a chat with him...
  • Have to wonder what these companies have against Microsoft that they hate them so much. With the ease which you can create even a basic application it seems its due to personal reasons we wont see things like Pandora, this and others on the WP7 platform. 
  • I'm sure they don't hate Microsoft or Windows Phone - they are a small company and so far they only have a client for iPhone (not for Android, not even for iPad!). And they don't grant write access to anyone, no specific discimination there.
    I'm sure that Windows Phone is not the highest priority for them for obvious reason of low marketshare and I'm sure that they will change their minds once WP is more popular. Or perhaps Microsoft already paid them for WP port.
  • +1 for Futurix's comment
  • Hmm "keep in touch" he says. I like that :)
  • Daniel, I think you should revise this post for spelling. :)
  • Where, exactly?
  • Yeah whatever...
  • We need better news apps. Like Flipboard and Flud app for the iOS platform.
  • Flud is coming:
  • We will know we are getting somewhere when iOS users complain about WP apps that they cannot run not port on their phones...
  • They might have complained about our awesome Xbox apps, but there's not as much for them to be envious about now that Microsoft gave them a bunch of our features.
  • So, it's iOS exclusive and that's that.  I see these pics all the time but I've never really been intrigued/impressed with it.  My only reason for wanting it would be to show WP7 as a great OS vs Instagram as a great app. ;)
  • Not true, Instagram is coming to Android officially. They have two devs working on it now (shows you how small they are).
  • I can't say I understand their reasonings for not allowing an API with these 3rd Party apps. I mean, what is their definition of spam and low quality images? And what's to say someone can't produce spam and low quality images with an iPhone?
    Certainly, I'm not hating and its their app and can do what they want. And there are a bunch of photo apps that can do alot of the things (as far as photo manipulation) that Instagram does. However, the social aspect of it would be perfect for WP as I don't know any of the photo apps that have such like Instagram
  • I can only think that instagram will be a highlighted app when the Nokia 900 gets released here. Or at least that's my hope.
  • YMMV, but I was able to setup a new account by going to  The first thing you will have to do is set up an account to become a dev.  I just filled out the first page and I was able to then login to the service in the InstaCam application and view the lastest images...
  • Note to self. Live life without Instagram. Done. What goes are aound, comes around.