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What just happened? If you're an iPhone user looking forward to trying a version of Instagram that does away with ads and a lot of the modern bloat, here's some bad news: The OG App, a third-party program that promises an experience more like the original social media platform, has been removed from the App Store at the request of Instagram owner Meta.
The primary way The OG App differs from Instagram is the removal of ads and suggested posts from user's home feeds. It also allows the creation of alternative feeds for different subjects, which can be shared with friends, without the need to follow accounts.
There's also an option that stops the feed from showing new content for 24 hours to prevent people from endlessly checking and scrolling. Users can disable Reels and the Explore Page, too.
While The OG App sounds like it could appeal to Instagram fans longing for a more streamlined experience, Meta isn't very happy about it. The company says it has taken all appropriate enforcement actions against the app for violating its policies.
Dear Apple: You're helping Facebook bully your users.— The OG App "- (@TheOGapp_) September 28, 2022
Apple kicked The OG App from the App Store just days after it launched. The developer tweeted that it had received 10,000 downloads and an average rating of 4.1 when it was pulled and it had successfully passed Apple's App Review.
The dev also said that the entire team has seen their personal Facebook and Instagram accounts permanently banned because of their links to The OG App.
Meta has banned the personal Facebook (not linked to OG) and Instagram (linked to OG) accounts for everyone on our team, permanently.— The OG App "- (@TheOGapp_) September 28, 2022
Meta is intent on taking extraordinary measures to suppress and censor us simply because we did right by their users. pic.twitter.com/JOzJ81p81k
App co-founder Hardik Patil told Engadget he had received no direct contact from Meta. "Users deserve the right to control what they consume, and OG will continue to defend and fight for that right," he said.
There have been a few complaints about The OG App, including difficulties logging in—it is rolling out a fix—and we've heard some privacy concerns as the developers had to reverse engineer the Instagram Android API; Meta doesn't offer a public API for developers.
It was already speculated that using Instagram's private API without permission would lead to Meta going after The OG App. It's still available on the Google Play store, but that might not be the case for long.