Following the launch of its app on Windows Mobile in April, Instagram has finally brought its visual social network to Windows desktops as a standalone app.
Available from the Windows Store, the full-fledged app lets you browse your feed, view Stories, as well as check and send direct messages. It also offers search, the Explore tab, and access to your profile, liked posts and settings. And unlike the Web app, it also offers sharing options for Facebook and Messenger from the context menu (click the ‘…’ button to access it).
It also lets you post photos – but only if you have a tablet or PC that has a touchscreen as well as backward-facing camera. That excludes the majority of desktops and laptops, and it’s a bummer for people and brands who’d prefer to edit and upload pictures from their desktop image libraries.
The app, which is better suited to tablets at the moment, could use a bit more work to better accommodate desktop users. For one thing, the main interface only takes up the center of your screen, leaving plenty of white space on either side. That space could’ve been better utilized to display comments next to photos in your feed, similar to how the Web app shows individual posts.
Plus, the app crashes when you try to add a Story, if you’re using a machine without a backward-facing camera. It’d be best to either hide this button or simply allow people to upload images and video on whatever device they have. There’s also a Live Tile which should ideally rotate images from your feed in your Start menu, but I haven’t been able to get it to work yet.