Microsoft is aggressively pushing ahead with its plans to serve Progressive Web Apps via the Microsoft Store. Twitter released its PWA app last year, and now Instagram is joining the fray with the launch of its own PWA app on the Microsoft Store, as per a report from Aggiornamenti Lumia.
The report suggests that Instagram is finally switching out its old OSMeta (a startup that Facebook acquired long ago to bring its iOS app to Windows) port in favor of the popular PWA app. Facebook, which owns Instagram, previously used the OSMeta cross-platform development tools for its desktop app but is now steadily rolling out its PWA app via the Microsoft Store. It has already reached some users and should find its way to you soon.
As you can see in the screenshot below, the Instagram app that you are currently served via the Microsoft Store is a port for the mobile web version of the photo-sharing platform. It’s also known as Instagram Lite on Android but can be downloaded from the Play Store.
Note: For those unaware, Progressive Web Apps (or PWAs) are websites and/or apps that behave like native apps. They can load when there is no network, sync and seamlessly do things while offering users a native-like experience.
Instagram taking the PWA desktop app route on Windows PCs is a welcome move and will enable active development. The existing app wasn’t updated as often as one would expect to receive new features. But, if you are someone who uses the Instagram app on Windows then there’s a key feature that you will find missing in the PWA. Direct Messaging is currently not supported via Instagram’s website (which will be wrapped into desktop app) and you will no longer have that option once the PWA has officially rolled out to everyone.
Direct Messaging is an essential feature for many users and Instagram ditching the same with its new desktop app seems a bit rushed. However, let’s hope Instagram adds Direct Messages to its website in the coming months so everyone can access it via the desktop app as well.