1 min read

The Ad-Free Instagram App

Two teen developers – Ansh Nanda and Hardik Patil – created The OG App which is an ad-free version of Instagram with a customizable feed. It’s exactly what users have wanted for years, bringing the app back to an actual social network where ads and algorithmic-suggested content don’t drown out content from friends.

With OG App, which is based on Instagram’s official API for third-party apps, users could log into their Instagram accounts to see posts from the people they follow without any distractions. The app lets users create alternative feeds to see posts from specific accounts without the interference of algorithms or advertisements. – 9to5Mac

But The OG App was such a success in its first 24 hours, gaining 10,000+ downloads, that Meta saw it as a threat and had Apple ban it from the App Store (Android version still available).

“This app violates our policies and we’re taking all appropriate enforcement actions,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. The spokesperson declined to elaborate on what those actions were, or if it had been in contact with Apple, but pointed to a blog post outlining Meta’s policies barring clone sites.

“A clone site is a third-party site that duplicates, in whole or in part, the content of an existing site,” Meta explains. On Twitter, the developers of The OG App said their entire team had been permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram as a result of their ties to the service. – Engadget

I truly believe these kids just wanted to make a better social networking experience but Meta squashed them immediately. It’s sad that Apple folded so quickly, especially when they’ve taken such a hard stance on privacy and third-party tracking (which is largely destroying the Meta business model).

Meta has made it clear that in order to participate in their version of social networking, you have to pay an attention tax; basically, you can only see what your friends are posting if you submit to scrolling through 10x or more of suggested content.

It seems as though a major censorship story like this surfaces every week. These are the growing pains of fighting for a better Internet experience that prioritizes users, not money.

Update (10/10/22): The Google Play Store also removed The OG App.