A report from FastCompany claims that the Windows Phone team could be working with Instagram to bring its incredibly popular photo-sharing app of the same name to Windows Phone 7. This may put the release of a Windows Phone version of Instagram, which is currently available exclusively for Apple iOS, even before the Android version.
While there are certainly some economical reasons for Instagram to prioritize Windows Phone over Android, namely the unified hardware specifications that ensures the same user experience across all Windows Phones and easier development, whereas Android remains fragmented, which makes it harder for software to work consistently on differerent devices, we suspect that this move, should it turn out to be indeed the case, is rather related to the commitment on Microsoft’s part to bring the “top 25 apps” of competing smartphone platforms to its own Windows Phone in the next six months (the “top 25” is not to be taken literally). With Mango bringing the OS to a more mature version and the introduction of some really great devices, the arguably biggest issue holding back Microsoft’s platform now, besides carrier bias that should be remedied through sales incentives, is the lack of apps.
Per definition, this is a chicken-and-egg issue â€“ without a big user base, few developers will bet big on Windows Phone; without quality apps, many will turn to the iPhone or Android devices. Since Microsoft has previously assisted developers in the porting of apps such as Spotify, it would be no surprise if the same was the case with Instagram.
For those not in the know, Instagram is a photo-sharing network accessible only through its mobile app, which allows you to apply filters to pictures taken with the camera. Even without being available on platforms other than iOS, it boasts an impressive user number of 15 million, with over 150 million photos uploaded, growing at a pace of 15 new photos every second. It was also recently picked by Apple as the iOS app of the year in 2011. In other words, it’s not only massively popular, but exactly the kind of app that tech pundits obsess over.