Monday, February 28, 2022

Still No Instagram iPad App

Chance Miller (via Ryan Jones, MacRumors):

This time around, Mosseri has taken a slightly different approach to address this complaint. In response to a tweet from Marques Brownlee about the lack of an iPad app, Mosseri this time acknowledged that Instagram gets this request “a lot,” while simultaneously saying there aren’t enough iPad users to justify the work.


Also, just a note: analyst data indicates that Apple likely shipped over 51 million iPads across all of 2021. I’m sure a pretty high percentage of those iPad users have an Instagram account and would love a way to use the social network that doesn’t involve a web app.

Matt Birchler:

I can’t share details, of course, but ask any iOS developer how many users demanded an Apple Watch app and then proceeded to never use that watch app.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see a great Instagram app for the iPad too, I just have to don my PM hat for a minute here and see where he’s coming from.

This may also be related to advertising. They can get more information about you if you read Instagram from your phone. And an iPad sweet solution bypasses App Tracking Transparency.


Update (2022-03-09): Francisco Tolmasky:

I trust they have the numbers to know it’s not worth it, which is sad, but goes back to the same points about the iPad as always. This is interesting though since it kind of reveals demographic info (iPads seem to not meaningfully intersect with Instagram’s target demographic).

Instagram feels like a “companion app” to me — much like Messages. It’s the thing I’m doing while I’m doing something else. I prefer to respond to a text on my phone, even while using the iPad, because multitasking is so disruptive on the iPad.

Jesse Squires:

At least around ~2015-2016 the real answer to this was “tech debt”

And, based on my experience, I imagine addressing that is still a low priority


The most outrageous thing is they already built iOS tablet UI for their Windows app (which was the iPhone app running under osmeta’s translation layer) and they let the code rot when they ditched the Windows app

But they could have just used it for an iPad build at any point

Rob Jonson:

The crazy thing to me is what this says about what an app becomes in the hands of a big company. The work that is ‘a bit extra that we obviously do’ for indie devs becomes an enormous undertaking for a giant sclerotic company.

Axel Rivera:

I don’t really care that much about an IG iPad app. What I’d like to see is a native Mac App comparable to TweetDeck.

Update (2022-04-13): Michael Love:

For anyone watching, this is a major reason for our lack of investment in iPad development - only way we can monetize things like mouse / kbd / multi-instance support is to launch a standalone iPad app, Apple won’t let us sell an “iPad Feature Enhancements” or whatever add-on.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter

How can they say that there aren't enough users, when they have yet to make the app? Surely millions of iPad owners would use an iPad-specific Instagram app. Maybe they don't want to do it because they're afraid that Instagram pics will look terrible on the full size display of an iPad? Or they aren't creative enough to come up with an app that's nothing more than a bigger version of the iPhone app?

I mean I'm sure there would be some value to having a full size iPad app, but I really don't understand why this is such a point of contention for so many people. Instagram content is not particularly high resolution, so a full screen view wouldn't look particularly good. And it would likely have all the problems every other content feed app has of excessive borders around the feed.

Also as a bonus, using the web app means they are more sandboxed from harvesting data from you. For example, a native app can scan your photo library at any time if you give it access. If you must use Facebook's spyware, quarantining it as much as possible should be a top priority.

They're almost doing you a favor here.

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