Uh oh. In what could turn out to be a considerable blow to RIM’s upcoming operating system, Venturebeat has learned that Facebook has no intention of bringing its popular Instagram app to BlackBerry 10. While RIM has promised native apps from social network leaders such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and, of course, Facebook, a company insider has shared that at least for the time being there are no plans to do the same for Instagram.
As much as non-users tend to dismiss Instagram as a silly little photo app, the fact is that there are over 100 million users posting thousands of photos per hour, all from just two platforms. While the iPhone provided the amniotic fluid in which Instagram gestated, its expansion to Android has been the true catalyst for growth, adding nearly 70 million users since April.
RIM has also been providing thousands of developers with beta devices, dubbed Dev Alpha, on which they’ve been tasked to build the very apps that users will have access to at launch. They’re already accepting apps, despite the fact that the first devices will launch in Q1 2013.
And yes, Instagram is but one app. But its availability, or lack thereof, speaks to RIM’s difficult road ahead. You can serenade all the developers you want, but at the end of the day it’s cold hard cash that will get them creating. Then again, RIM has promised that, too. RIM also teased an Instagram-like service built right into BlackBerry 10. While proprietary networks rarely succeed, BBM is currently 60 million strong and counting, and if RIM figured out how to successfully bundle a decent image-sharing network right into the BB10 BBM app, there’s no telling where it might go.
Then again, this may just be a case of waiting it out; if BB10 turns out to be as successful as RIM hopes (and expects), Facebook could very well change its mind. We’re sure a considerable number of BlackBerry loyalists will try to convince them.
Update: There’s an interesting post from Kevin over at CrackBerry that states “I checked in with my contacts that all but gave formal confirmation that RIM continues to have a strong relationship with Facebook, who now owns Instagram, and that you will see Instagram come to BlackBerry 10.” – IH