Meta cracks down on ad-free Instagram consumer a day after it launched

A 3rd-party Instagram app, referred to as “The OG App,” which promised an ad-free feed extra like the unique Instagram expertise, has been pulled from Apple’s App Retailer simply someday after it formally launched. It’s not clear if Apple pulled the app on the request of Meta, however the social community confirmed it had taken “enforcement actions” towards the service.

“This app violates our insurance policies and we’re taking all acceptable enforcement actions,” a Meta spokesperson mentioned in a press release. The spokesperson declined to elaborate on what these actions have been, or if it had been in touch with Apple, however pointed to a weblog submit outlining Meta’s insurance policies barring clone websites.

“A clone website is a third-party website that duplicates, in entire or partly, the content material of an current website,” Meta explains. On Twitter, the builders of The OG App mentioned their whole workforce had been completely banned from Fb and Instagram because of their ties to the service.

“Customers deserve the proper to regulate what they eat, and OG will proceed to defend and struggle for that proper,” Hardik Patil, on of the app’s founder’s advised Engadget. He mentioned he had obtained no direct communication from Meta.

The OG App had been within the works for greater than a yr, in line with TechCrunch, which reported its preliminary launch. The app’s founders advised the publication they wished to supply a “cleaner” model of Instagram with out promoting. The app featured customizable feeds with out Reels, prompt posts and different newer options which have at occasions been controversial amongst longtime Instagram customers. The Android model of the app is presently nonetheless obtainable.

Meta’s insurance policies have lengthy barred third-party Instagram purchasers, and lately the corporate has filed numerous lawsuits towards builders who break its guidelines, together with these barring clone websites. On the identical time, the corporate has additionally been accused of utilizing those self same insurance policies to close down respectable researchers’ makes an attempt to check the platform.

Nevertheless, on this case, it appears the creators of the OG App have been clearly breaking Instagram’s insurance policies. The corporate doesn’t supply a public API for builders to construct their very own variations of Instagram, and on Twitter, The OG App mentioned they needed to “reverse engineer” the Android API. The app additionally raised privateness considerations about how the builders have been defending customers’ account data.

Regardless of this, the app had already gained a number of followers on account of its extra simplified — and ad-free — expertise. Instagram has additionally been coping with a backlash towards its aggressive pushing of Reels and beneficial content material. The OG App mentioned it had racked up greater than 10,000 downloads earlier than its elimination from the App Retailer “as a result of we listened to them and constructed what they wished.”

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