Report: Instagram blocking photos uploaded from third-party Windows Phone app Instance

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)-owned Instagram reportedly is blocking access to Instance, a popular third-party application that supports viewing and uploading of Instagram photos on devices running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone OS.

Instance developer Daniel Gary told The Verge that Instagram is deleting images uploaded from the Instance app. Instagram appears to be "detecting when photos are not uploading via the official app," Gary said. "It's their servers, their service. What I was doing was not approved by them and was using their private API." Gary said he does not blame Facebook for blocking Instance--he also noted that he is working on a fix, and that the issue is not affecting all users.

The Verge staff conducted tests confirming that photos uploaded to Instagram from Instance disappear from the site after just seconds, rendering the URLs used to access them invalid. An image uploaded to Instagram from Instance last week by one Verge staffer is no longer publicly visible, although the photo is still stored under the account. Facebook did not respond to requests for comment.

Facebook has resisted pleas from Windows Phone users and manufacturing partners to build a version of Instagram optimized for the Microsoft platform. In March, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) rolled out #2InstaWithLove, a photo-sharing app built for its Windows Phone-based Lumia smartphone line. "Many of you have asked when Instagram will be coming to Windows Phone, and the #2InstaWithLove app was created as a way for you to have your voice heard," Nokia said at the time.

First introduced for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS in October 2010, Instagram enables users to snap, filter and manipulate photos and then upload their work to social media sites. The app expanded to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system in April 2012. Facebook acquired Instagram for $715 million last year and recently announced that the app boasts 130 million monthly users who have shared 16 billion photos.

Facebook has a history of blocking Instagram rivals: In Feb. 2013, it stopped iOS app Vintage Camera from accessing its Photo Sharing on Facebook API. The social networking giant has also restricted API access for Twitter's Vine video sharing app, social networking app Voxer and Russian search giant Yandex's Wonder.

Facebook's Platform Policies states, "You may not use Facebook Platform to export user data into a competing social network without our permission. Apps on Facebook may not integrate, link to, promote, distribute or redirect to any app on any other competing social network." Facebook has said it will enforce the policy on apps that "use its data to bootstrap growth but don't contribute anything."

For more:
- read this Verge article

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