Apple has canceled an ad-free Instagram client

A third-party Instagram client called ‘The OG App’, which promised users an ad-free feed, spent just one day in the Apple App Store. It is not yet clear whether Apple blocked the app at Meta’s request, the social media giant said that it had taken the “necessary steps against the service”. A Meta spokesperson said the app violates their policy on clone sites, but did not elaborate on what those steps were or whether they had contacted the Cupertino company. According to their critic, Apple made this decision on its own because it “follows Meta”.

According to the policy, any third-party website that partially or fully duplicates the content of one of Meta’s services is considered a clone site. According to the developers of The OG App, the entire team was banned from both Facebook and Instagram after it was discovered that they were involved with the clone service, but they did not receive a direct call or warning from Meta. Founder Hardik Patik told Engadget: users deserve the right to have more control over what content they encounter on social networking sites.

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The OG App has been around for over a year now, with the developers admitting that they wanted to provide “a cleaner, less ad-laden” version of Instagram. Within the app, netizens can scroll through customizable feeds without the need for Reels posts, recommended posts and other new types of content, the introduction of which was divisive among users. The Android version of the app is still available through the Google Play Store, but it only had a short career in the App Store.

Meta’s policies have long prohibited third-party Instagram clients, with several lawsuits against developers breaking the rules over the years. At the same time, critics accused the company of making it impossible for researchers to study the platforms by referring to these guidelines.
The OG App developers really broke the rules in the sense that the company doesn’t offer a public API for developers to create their own versions of Instagram, so they had to reverse engineer the Android API. The app also raises privacy concerns about how developers protect users’ account information.

In any case, the users rewarded the idea, the ad-free version was downloaded by more than ten thousand people from the App Store in just one night before it was removed.


Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.

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