Instagram and Waze Arrive on Windows Phone

windows phone

After waiting for what seemed like an entire lifetime, Instagram is now available on Windows Phone! The popular photo and video sharing app came out for iPhone before spreading to Android in 2012 has changed the way we think about and use social media, and has made it’s way to the third place platform on mobile. The social powered traffic app owned by Google, Waze, has made its way to Windows Phone as well.

As of 11 a.m. today, Windows Phone users should be able to find the beta version of the Instagram app in the Windows Phone store. It does suffer from some missing functionality in it’s current state though. This includes video capturing and uploading, tagging photos, viewing geotaxis, and in app camera capture. None of these features are supported yet.

“[Instagram] is something our users have definitely been super interested in getting on the phone,” says Todd Brix, general manager of the Windows App Store. “primarily because a lot of the proposition for consumers on our [platform] is the great built-in camera experience. Having the number one social-networking-plus-photo application on the platform is a great thing.”

The arrival of Instagram, one of the world’s most popular apps, is a huge step for the platform. The operating system has struggled to keep up with the likes of iOS and Android, which are the most dominant in the world and control most markets.

Being a smaller platform isn’t all bad though, there is nowhere to go from up, right? There is plenty of room to grow, and that is exactly what they have been doing. They are the number two platform right behind Android in a lot of areas such as Latin America. That isn’t the only reason Instagram was interested though, it also probably has a lot to do with the fact that the service is owned by Facebook now, who is a huge partner with Microsoft.

The arrival of Insta’ is definitely going to please many Windows Phone users since Nokia, Microsoft’s main hardware partner, has made camera technology it’s priority as a differentiator. Photography apps are responsible for 8% of all app downloads on Windows Phone says Microsoft, vs. 6% on iPhone. Since the release of Windows phone, Microsoft reports a 290% increase in app downloads during November of last year.

“We’ve seen in the last couple of years that the devices come out, people write the reviews, and somewhere in there it says, ‘It’s pretty good, but the ecosystem is lagging,'” says Casey McGee, Microsoft’s senior marketing manager for Windows Phone. “We’ve been looking at that, listening to feedback, and what we’re seeing is we have turned that corner. People are more satisfied with some of the key apps on our platform than on other platforms.”

Notable for other reasons, there is also the arrival of Waze on Windows Phone. They have been planning a Windows Phone app for quite a while, but when Google purchased this free turn by turn navigation app for $1.03 billion made everyone very uncertain about the app’s fate. Google pretty much ignores the fact that Windows Phone even exists for the most part, claiming that the platform doesn’t have enough users to justify the creation of native apps. There appears to be plenty of bad blood between the two companies.

It has now been made clear that the whole project wasn’t thrown away, and Windows Phone users can now enjoy both Waze and Instagram apps. Other big time apps such as Path and Flipboard have also announced future plans for Windows Phone apps. The release date for these has not yet been set.

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