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Apple axes OG App that restored Instagram to its former, ad-free glory

A third-party Instagram client, claiming to return the image-sharing app to its original state, before ads, algorithms, and Reels has been unceremoniously removed from the Apple App Store.

The OG app, from a startup called Un1feed, racked up 10,000 downloads after launching on the App Store last week, rising into the top 50 chart.

It gave users the opportunity to log in with their Instagram account and view a feed akin to the original vision, prior to the Facebook (now Meta) buyout all those years ago. For its part, Instagram has started to listen to users’ concerns and has reinstated a chronological feed, while allowing users to snooze sponsored posts for 30 days if it all gets too much. However, it hasn’t gone far enough, according to some.

There were no suggested posts on the home feed and the ads, which do seem like every other post these days, were gone. There was also the added ability to create custom feeds, aligned with your interests. Naturally, Meta wasn’t on board with the app and neither is Apple. Citing rule 5.2.2 of the App Store guidelines (via TechCrunch) that requires authorisation from the host service.

It reads: “5.2.2 Third-Party Sites/Services: If your app uses, accesses, monetises access to, or displays content from a third-party service, ensure that you are specifically permitted to do so under the service’s terms of use. Authorisation must be provided upon request.”

It’s not quite clear whether Meta asked Apple to pull the app, but the Facebook parent company has taken a stern view of clone sites in the past. Here’s a blog post from Meta, posted earlier this year, about the matter.

The makers of The OG App aren’t taking this lying down, and, in a Twitter thread, are accusing Apple of allowing Meta to bully its users. It points out that there are “dozens” of other apps that have “replicated Instagram’s users experience” which haven’t been pulled. It says its app is the only one that provides a better experience.

“Yesterday night, after we received 10,000 downloads, were #50 on the App Store, and had an average rating of 4.1 stars, Apple took us off the App Store. Users chose OG over Instagram because we listened to them and built what they wanted,” Un1feed wrote on Twitter.

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