Apple Pulls ‘OG App’, an Ad-Free Version of Instagram from App Store

Apple has removed The OG App, an ad-free and suggestion-free Instagram client created by a startup called Unf1feed, from the App Store — reports TechCrunch.

The iPhone maker explained in a statement to TechCrunch that The OG App was removed earlier this week for violating Instagram owner Meta’s terms of use for the service, which in turn constituted a breach of Apple’s App Store review guidelines.

Un1feed’s client was apparently accessing Instagram’s service in an unauthorized manner, against the platform’s terms. According to section 5.2.2 of Apple’s App Store review guidelines, any app that displays content from a third-party service must comply with that service’s terms of use.

The OG App removed ads and suggested posts from Instagram users’ home feeds and also included additional features like creating custom feeds. It had only been in circulation for a few days when Apple took it down. However, the app had already accumulated nearly 10,000 downloads by then.

“This app violates our policies and we’re taking all appropriate enforcement actions,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. The company went on to cite a blog post about “clone sites.”

In response to The OG App’s removal, Un1feed originally accused Apple of “colluding” with Facebook.

“Everyone knows Instagram sucks. We made it better and got a lot of love from users. But Facebook hates its own users so much, it’s willing to crush an alternative that gives them a clean, ad-free Instagram. Apple is colluding with Facebook to bully two teenagers who made Instagram better,” the startup said in a statement.

Despite its removal from the App Store, The OG App remains available on the Google Play Store. Un1feed’s founders said this goes to show that Android is “the clear choice for users who want privacy, freedom, and optionality.”

While Un1feed said that the company is trying to get The OG App re-listed on the App Store, that doesn’t seem likely given the statements from Apple and Meta.

Earlier this week, Apple also booted Russian Facebook clone VK off the App Store.