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Instagram finally arrives for Windows Phone … with half the features missing

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If you’ve been waiting to get your filter fix with your favorite Windows Phone device like the Lumia 1020, your wait is over – well, mostly. On Wednesday, Instagram announced its release of the Instagram app for Windows 8 devices, though it’s still in beta. This basically means you get most of the features of Instagram, though you’ll still have to wait a little while longer for all the features.

For some reason, it’s taken a very long time to get a Windows Phone version finally released – and even now, it lacks photo tagging and video recording. You can, however, see tags and videos taken by iOS and Android users, like some kind of cruel joke on the Windows Phone crowd. To make matters worse, the Windows Phone Store’s Instagram page advertises the ability to record videos even though it’s not yet available.

Also lacking from Instagram for Windows Phone is the ability to shoot photos within the app, which users of other operating systems have always been able to do. WP users must, instead, shoot photos with the standard camera app, then add filters and upload their photos later. Not a huge deal, but it’s yet another example of just how half-baked this iteration of Instagram really is.

One possible reason for Instagram’s delay in getting a Windows Phone app out the door is the differences between Windows Phone and iOS or Android. But given the amount of time Windows Phone users have waited for Instagram so far, the company might as well have taken a bit of extra time to get it right. Regardless, there may not be much incentive for Instagram to expend many resources on this version; according to Gartner, Windows Phone only managed a mere 3.6 percent market share of all smartphones sold in the last quarter. That equates to 8 million devices sold – far behind either Android or iOS, with little chance of an uptick anytime soon.

If you’re chomping at the bit to get your Windows Phone-loving hands on Instagram, the beta version is available for download from Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store, or, of course, by searching for Instagram on your phone. We haven’t yet heard when all the missing features will become available, but the optimist in us assumes they aren’t far off.