Instagram, the popular photo-sharing social network owned by Facebook, has finally released an app built for Windows 10 Mobile. The absence of a recently updated Instagram app has been a serious sore point in Microsoft’s mobile ecosystem, but that looks set to change soon as a beta version of a new app hit the Windows Store on Monday.
Instagram has an older app for Windows Phone 8, which is supported on Windows 10, but it has languished in perpetual beta since its launch in 2013. The review section is full of complaints that the app has not been updated. The old version is missing crucial features like user-to-user direct messaging and the ability to upload non-square photos.
This new version for Windows 10 Mobile more closely resembles the existing iOS app, upgrading the interface and adding in missing features. In particular, users can now direct message both photos and videos to each other.
The company is asking users to report any problems they find in the beta version. To report issues, users have to physically shake their phones, which brings up the feedback interface.
As a beta, there are some teething issues. Instagram notes that Facebook logins may not work as expected, nor does the “share to” function. The workflow to create and edit an image is also not too stable for the moment: Instagram is telling users to expect app crashes.
Nonetheless, it’s an exciting development for a platform that it seemed like Instagram had given up on. It remains to be seen whether the company decides to expand out the app into a “universal app,” running on desktop as well as mobile. That seems to be unlikely for now, though, as Instagram still doesn’t offer an iPad app, but is instead focusing specifically on phones.