Review: Winsta UWP - unofficial Instagram for Windows 10


The status and efficiency of the official Instagram client for Windows 10 has always been a bit suspect, which is why I'm happy to welcome Winsta UWP, an unashamedly unofficial client, but one that's fast and fluid. Even if it does bend some rules along the way and even if it has more than a few MIA components at the moment. See below for an illustrated initial review...

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From the Store description:

Winsta application is an Unofficial Instagram client which is made for windows 10 devices family and it is trying to make the user experience of the Instagram app so much better on your windows device.

Use Instagram to:

  • See posts and moments shared by people you follow.
  • Discover photos and videos you might like and follow new accounts in the Explore tab.
  • Save media, stories, and other things from public profile
  • Share your idea about others moments by comments and your replies in story

Notice that posting new media to Instagram isn't mentioned - this seems to be a limitation of the current version, so it's more an Instagram 'browser' than a full 'client'. Oh well, given the ingenuity shown so far, I'm sure the developer will find a way to make this happen.

Here we go then, Instagram in December 2018 via Winsta UWP:


Rather than just use official APIs to access Instagram, Winsta pulls a few tricks, pretending to be an old Samsung Galaxy S6 running (amazingly) Android 4.4 - presumably this device has hard coded hooks into Instagram through a bundled deal and therefore the developer here is pretty sure that the access isn't going to be shut off. An interesting approach, eh?


And we're then into Instagram in a fast and fluid dark-themed interface, arguably dramatically improving on Instagram's own ideas.... Images, videos, tags, profiles, all work, with most of your time no doubt spent browsing your 'Home' view and then maybe 'Exploring' afterwards.


Activity is split between these two panes, with thumbnails helpfully illustrating where needed.


The search function works for people and tags but is MIA for 'Recent' and for general Instagram posts - I'm sure this will be fixed in an update; (right) the Explore view surfaces media that you might like, based on your current posts and activity. Not bad.

Overall, there's a lot to like about Winsta's speed and UI, it's a breath of fresh air - but it does need the developer to actually finish the application before I can recommend it wholeheartedly. The good thing is that you can directly encourage him by buying Winsta, since it's a couple of quid in the Microsoft Store. Go on, if you want to see this updated, buy the developer a cup of coffee in this way...

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