Messaging app WhatsApp launched for Nokia’s Asha 501 feature phone, while Instagram made its debut on Windows Phone (in beta form).

It was announced in October that WhatsApp — which supports group text conversations, voice messages and photo and video sharing over mobile broadband and Wi-Fi — would become available for the Asha platform, starting with the Asha 501.

Speaking at the Nokia World event in Abu Dhabi, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum revealed that the messaging app had reached 350 million monthly active users.

WhatsApp will also be pre-installed on the Asha 500, 502 and 503 models when they become available “later this year”.

Meanwhile Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo sharing and filtering app, is now available on Windows Phone 8, after it was also announced at Nokia World.

With more than 150 million users the arrival of Instagram on the platform used by Nokia’s Lumia smartphone range, could help drive uptake of Windows Phone devices.

The relative lack of big name apps has been cited as holding back the progress of Windows Phone compared to iOS and Android.

Bryan Biniak, VP and general manager of app development at Nokia, said in July that there are “major gaps” in the apps catalogue and “select applications that need to be there,” if users are going to be persuaded to switch to Windows Phone.