Instagram’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, gave an official reason for why Instagram still doesn’t have an actual iPad app in 2020, a decade after the launch of iPad.
In a series of Instagram Story posts where Mosseri answered various questions, he said that the Instagram team would “like to build an iPad app.” However, there are only so many people on the team “and lots to do,” according to Mosseri. As such, an iPad app “hasn’t bubbled up as the next best thing to do yet.”
In other words, Instagram doesn’t have the resources to develop for both platforms. However, considering Instagram’s parent company Facebook made over $21 billion USD in Q4 2019 (roughly $28 billion CAD), it seems like resources are the least of the company’s problems.
Reasonable or not, that’s what we’ve got as an explanation from Instagram. But, it is a small change of pace for a company that has kept quiet over its stubborn refusal to create an iPad app. For example, when asked about prioritizing bringing direct messages to the web over building an iPad app last month, the company only said that messaging is important as it helps users “stay in touch with the people [they] care about.”
It’s worth noting that iPad users can install the Instagram app on their devices, but it isn’t designed for tablets. Instagram still uses the old ‘magnification’ feature that blows iPhone apps up to fill the bigger iPad screen — a feature introduced in the early days of iPad as a stop-gap measure to make apps useable while developers built official iPad variants. Ultimately, it isn’t a great experience, especially since the magnified app looks low-res.
There was a time when third-party Instagram apps let iPad users browse the social network. However, Instagram killed those APIs and got rid of that market.
For now, the best option for Instagram users on iPad is likely to use the company’s web app. It has gotten much better in recent years and you can even add a shortcut to it to your home screen for quick access. Unfortunately, it still isn’t as good as a dedicated app experience.