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Why adding Instagram and Vine is key for Nokia and Windows Phone

October 23, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Nokia announced that an Instagram app for Windows Phone will arrive soon.
Nokia announced that an Instagram app for Windows Phone will arrive soon. (Instagram )

Nokia announced a new tablet and two new smartphones this week, but perhaps the most significant move the company made was adding the Instagram and Vine apps to its devices running Windows Phone operating system.

Since being caught off guard by the Apple iPhone and devices running on Google Android, Nokia has been trying hard to bounce back in the smartphone market. To stand out, the Finnish company decided to go with Microsoft's Windows Phone software for its smartphones' operating system.

Since launching, Windows Phone has been lauded for its design. But it had a major flaw: a lack of popular smartphone apps. Microsoft has worked hard to get the must-have apps onto its operating system, but it has had difficulty getting Instagram, the most popular mobile photography app, onto Windows Phone.

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That became a huge headache for Nokia, which has been trying to make its phones stand out by outfitting them with advanced camera technology. But while Nokia's devices were being touted as having the best cameras, they were still a tough sell considering they couldn't run the best photography app.

Nokia's frustrations boiled over earlier this year. In March, it launched its own app that imitated Instagram as a way to lobby for the Facebook-owned social network to bring its app to Windows Phone. A few months later, a Nokia executive lashed out at Microsoft in an interview, saying that while Nokia continued to build top-of-the-line devices, Microsoft was not doing enough to bring top apps to its platform.

Shortly afterward, the Nokia Lumia 1020 was released. It featured a 41-megapixel camera, which allowed the device to take photos and zoom into images without losing quality. The Lumia 1020 was touted by reviewers, but it didn't take long for the price to be cut $100 due to poor sales.

Nokia's misfortunes may finally start to turn around. The company announced that Instagram will launch on Windows Phone in the coming weeks, an addition that will surely make the company's devices more attractive to consumers.

Nokia was also proactive and managed to ensure that Vine would also soon launch on Windows Phone. Vine is a Twitter-owned app that lets users create six-second video clips. It is largely seen as Instagram's top rival, and after launching earlier this year it has had great success, reaching 40 million users in a matter of months.

Adding Instagram and Vine could be enough for Nokia and Windows Phone to steal some users away from Apple and Android.

Now the biggest missing pieces on Windows Phone are Google's numerous apps, most notably YouTube. Google has not made a serious effort to bring its apps to the Microsoft-owned platform, most likely because Google does not want to compete with a second major operating system as it is already dealing with Apple's iOS mobile platform.

Fortunately for Microsoft, Nokia and their users, this is not a big problem. Many of Google's services can be accessed through the Internet Explorer Web browsing app.


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