The one thing the Windows Phone platform keeps getting dinged on is its relative lack of apps compared to rivals iOS and Android.
Microsoft has typically responded by saying that it has most of the top apps. In September, Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of the Operating Systems division, said the Windows Phone Store had 49 of the top 50 apps.
Now the 50th — Instagram — has finally arrived. Albeit in beta form.
Some of its “beta-ness” has already created a bit of buzz today: People can’t take photos directly from the app itself nor can they upload videos.
Instagram spokeswoman Liz Shepherd emphasized that the app was still in beta and that the process of taking a photo is not onerous.
To take photos, those using Instagram press a “Capture” button that automatically takes users to the Windows Phone camera. Once the photo is taken, the user is automatically redirected back to Instagram where they can proceed with selecting filters and sharing their photo.
“Many of our users for other platforms use the camera roll to upload their pictures. So that’s where we’re starting with this beta version for Windows,” Shepherd said. “We wanted to bring the core Instagram experience [to Windows Phone] in time for the holiday season. This is where we started with the beta app. Same with the video. That’s a work in progress.”
As to why it took this long to get the app onto the Windows Phone platform and why it was doing so now, Shepherd said: “Instagram is still a small team. We were 13 people when we joined Facebook last year. Since the acquisition, we’ve been able to scale the app much more quickly. This is part of that.”
Separately, Waze, the Google-owned community-based mapping and traffic app, is also now available in the Windows Phone Store.