Instagram is a prime example of a startup success story driven entirely by a mobile application. The photo-sharing app is available only on iPhone and iPod touch, yet in just over a year it has garnered over 15 million users with plenty more signing up each day. Its popularity has led developers for other platforms such as Android and Windows Phone to create third-party alternatives. Unfortunately, Instagram is not allowing access to an uploading API which means third-party apps can’t replicate a crucial part of the Instagram experience.
Developer Bil Simser reached out to Instagram to address this while trying to create a third-party app for Windows Phone. Unfortunately, the Instagram team did not give in. Because Simser’s app and many others can’t upload photos or even allow users to register since Instagram’s registration process is in-app only, it can only provide the standard feed of photos and popular ones around the world. Simser has since decided to cancel the project.
Instagram isn’t clear as to why it won’t allow third-party access to vital APIs. The sensible answer would be to assume Instagram will eventually launch on Android and Windows Phone, but as of now there’s a lack of Insta-love on these operating systems. Then again, with the massive success on iOS, does the app even need to expand its horizons?