Bubblegum Fills A Niche, Brings Instagram-esque Photo Sharing To Windows Phone 7

iOS and Android users get to have all the fun. With just about any popular mobile application you could name, chances are pretty solid that it began its life on one of those two platforms. How many renowned applications can you name that debuted on webOS? How about Symbian^3?

Months later — if they’re lucky — users of these not-quite-as-popular platforms might get a port thrown their way… but it’ll take a while. Take social photo sharing, for example; not a new concept at all, but look at the big players right now: Instagram? iOS. Path? iOS. PicPlz? iOS and Android. Minority platform users are often stuck waiting for a third-party to come along and conjure up a solution with whatever bits of the API they can uncover, or hoping that someone builds a clone.

That last bit — the clone building bit — is exactly what a pair of Microsofties has done for Windows Phone 7. After growing tired of waiting for any of these picture sharing services to come to them, they built one of their own: bubblegum. And yes, it has the silly filters.

Launching later today (on Windows Phone 7 only, for now), Bubblegum was built by Sriram Krishnan (Program Manager for Microsoft’s Windows Azure) and Aarthi Ramamurthy (Program Manager for Microsoft’s XNA) in their nights and weekends off. Bonus trivia, mainly because it’s kind of cool: Sriram and Aarthi aren’t just partners in this endeavor — they’re also partners in love. In other words, they’re married.

While bubblegum is strictly WP7-based for now, they don’t plan to keep it that way for long; their backend service already supports all the crucial basics like user following and searching for contacts pulled from your Facebook account, and they plan to roll it all out to other mobile platforms in the near future.

Does the world need another social image sharing site? Probably not — but the Windows Phone 7 world does, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to spin their niche audience into a dedicated fan-base that’ll spread the word once this thing goes cross-platform.

While the service should be launching sometime later today, you can check out a peek at what uploaded photos will look like here. Once they’ve launched, you’ll be able to find the WP7 download on the Marketplace right here.