Instance, the unofficial Instagram client on Windows Phone, experiencing strange issues [Update]

Those of you using Instance, the unofficial Instagram client for Windows Phone, have probably noticed that things aren't running as smoothly as they should since yesterday. Indeed Instance seems to be in some trouble.

The problems started when Instagram changed their keys that are used to authenticate, and Windows Phone users obviously got left out. However that problem was quickly fixed once Daniel Gary, the app’s developer, got wind of it.

However what’s been happening ever since is a lot stranger. Users are reporting uploading images to Instagram only to have them disappear a few seconds later. There’s no clear explanation why this is happening and Daniel Gary half-jokingly posted the tweet below.

Could this actually be the end of the line for Instance and other non-official Instagram clients on Windows Phone? We certainly hope not, but we've got our tin-foil hats ready just in case.

Update: An Instagram spokesperson has confirmed that this is happening due to a change in their API. The official reason reads "We recently made an update to the systems that we use to fight spam to help prevent future attacks and increase security". The change seems to be affecting all unofficial Instagram clients, not just Instance.

Via: WPCentral |Image courtesy of WPC

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24 Comments

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I'm not using instagram personally, but changing API without telling developers is ridiculous, especially for a big company like instagram -,-

LightEco said,
Not great developer support when you change your APIs and don't bother telling anyone.
In their defense, they have no obligation to tell people who shouldn't be using them.

MrHumpty said,
In their defense, they have no obligation to tell people who shouldn't be using them.

You're saying Daniel isn't allowed to use the API? I have a pretttty good feeling you don't even know API is after a statement like that. http://instagram.com/developer/#

Anyone can use the API that signs up. Application Programming Interfaces are used on all kinds of sites so developers can make their services mingle (see here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_API).

The only thing he's doing that should be considered "stretching" is his app's ability to upload photos. To my knowledge, the Instagram API does not allow for this, so he has servers doing something special in this regard. For all intents and purposes, he and the app should be fine.

"Update: An Instagram spokesperson has confirmed that this is happening due to a change in their API. The official reason reads "We recently made an update to the systems that we use to fight spam to help prevent future attacks and increase security". The change seems to be affecting all unofficial Instagram clients, not just Instance."
That sounds a little bit convenient. Gearing up for their own ad network maybe? ala Twitter.

Or... they suffer from the same malaise as most startups: crappy communication skills, and even worse developer relations.

My instagram hashtags don't work from Instance. Neither does twitter hashtags when I post through instance to twitter. If I use the twitter app it works normally, but not if I include a instagram link.

volodoscope said,
Or..... Maybe Instagram are testing their own Windows Phone App?
Which includes a bot that automatically deletes images posted by users on WP who aren't using their client? Nah.

Nokia & MS just need to make an alternative solution Instagram. I currently have no interest in instagram at all, though the polemics surrounding it have put me off any future interest I may have had, should Instagram themselves now make a good in-house app after this level of petty behaviour..

wv@gt said,
This could all just be fixed if Instagram themselves would just make a damn app.

Why would they make a WP app when they can just kill the whole WP platform with this trick and focus on iOS and Android?

mikzz8818 said,

Why would they make a WP app when they can just kill the whole WP platform with this trick and focus on iOS and Android?
The hilarity behind the concept that missing an app to a single service is a platform killer must elude you.

With the polemics surrounding it, it would be no surprise to hear that they are doing it on purpose. Sad really isn't it.