Instagram extends olive branch to #6tagram app for Windows Phone, will have their legal consent

Developer Rudy Huyn has been hard at work recently on his forthcoming Instagram client dubbed #6tagram for Windows Phone. Earlier this week, the popular photo service altered their API for “security reasons” throwing a monkey wrench in a planned release and forcing Huyn to have to re-think the app logic for getting access to their network. Later, Huyn confirmed that he had indeed “cracked” the new API and posting of videos and photos to Instagram would be doable for his app.

Today, a new wrinkle has happened that is effecting the timely release of #6tagram: Instagram itself, who have reportedly made direct contact with the developer.

But instead of the usual legal threats, the company has worked out a compromise whereby Huyn will send the app for prior approval to the Store, making sure the app “checks out” from a legal (and technical) standpoint. The app won’t be “official” but it will get to wear the title “Supported by Instagram” on its sleeve, making this app the first fully featured Instagram client for Windows Phone that has Instagram’s blessing (or rather, they will look the other way).

We spoke with Huyn who confirmed the story as legitimate:

“I will send them my app, to make some tests and we will work together to check all the legal things, they seem to like the app”

That is certainly a turn around the for the company who has since pulled back those earlier API changes, allowing other third party apps like the popular Instance to continue working unabated. While the company may not have any immediate plans for an official app, their olive branch to Huyn and the Windows Phone community is certainly refreshing. Indeed, we could argue that whatever Huyn produces it will be of higher quality and more feature packed than anything official (see his Wikipedia app for Windows Phone, for example, which is officially sanctioned by the Wikipedia foundation).

The only downside to the offered Instagram support is it will cause a slight delay in publishing the app. The flip side to that is it will give Huyn extra time to work on his creation, including adding a tilt-shift effect. Once released, #6tagram will sport the original Instagram filters, video and photo uploading, and all of the features that an Instagram app should have to make it unofficially-official. In a recent video, posted above, Huyn has demonstrated some of those features in action.

Now with Instagram’s consent, we can be sure that Windows Phone users will have a solid, reliable and non-controversial Instagram client for the foreseeable future. That's huge news.

Update 2PM ET: At this point, Instagram won't be providing technical support to Huyn, meaning the app is still on its own and subject to API difficulties, should they arise. Instead, Instagram is merely giving it a pass/fail from a legal standpoint. While not a slam dunk, it does show a new level of cooperation and detente with the Windows Phone community as legally speaking, they could do a lot to block this app. It will be curious to see in the coming weeks what changes, if any, Instagram asks for within the app, including the name.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.