Instagram is one of a number of notable companies launching an app for the Apple Watch this week, a move that marks the company’s first official step into the wearables space.
According to an FT report, the team behind the media-sharing app was initially unsure about taking its service to the Apple Watch as the device is focused more toward health tracking and messages than sharing images. However, reluctant to see a competitor make a possible success of the relatively new platform, the Facebook-owned company eventually came around to the idea of redesigning its own app for Apple’s debut smartwatch.
Instagram developers told the FT that modifying its app for a device that sports such a small display was no easy task. Making the challenge even greater was the fact that it didn’t have an Apple Watch to work with, a situation that led the team to test prototypes on an iPhone.
After trying out several designs of varying complexity, the developer team, which received input from Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, has gone for a simple design instead of something overloaded with functionality that users might find clunky and difficult to operate.
Apple says the new Instagram app lets you “browse your feed, ‘like’ your favorite photos, and even leave emoji comments.”
Instagram designer Ian Silber told the FT the idea behind the app is to “get in and get out” in just a few seconds, with users expected to receive notifications of new images on the service from just a few of the people they follow. This fits with Apple’s suggestion that its smartwatch is ideal for “brief interactions.”
Other recognizable names launching apps with the Apple Watch this Friday include Twitter, Flipboard, Evernote, the New York Times, CNN, and MLB. As far as Apple’s concerned, it’s a case of ‘the more the merrier,’ as every notable name that joins the platform helps to make its debut smartwatch that little bit more attractive to potential buyers.