A couple of weeks ago, Apple removed the OG App from its app store, and today Google followed suit, booting the app from its platform as well. And I’m left scratching my head wondering what the end game was for the founders of the OG App.
As far as I can tell, the company basically made a new version of Instagram that strips the advertising out, and brings back the non-algorithmic feed. Don’t get me wrong, I would love that, but there’s no universe in which it was going to be a good idea to essentially steal a bunch of content from Meta (née Facebook), repackage it and feed that content to users. You see, businesses have to make money, and in the case of Instagram, that means showing advertising to its users.
“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 to TechCrunch for Ivan’s story.
And that’s where I’m just left shaking my head — that isn’t hating your users, that is protecting the only way you have to make money. Literally any company in the world would fight to protect its bottom line, and stealing wholesale from a mega-corporation with a $360 billion market cap is not a great way to build a startup.
The app — and its tens of thousands of downloads — does illustrate one thing though, which is that people are getting pretty bored of Instagram’s ad-heavy business, and according to Sarah’s recent reporting, things are going to get a lot worse. But if you don’t like it, your option is to stop using the offending platform and switch to another.
The people behind the OG App will be extraordinarily lucky if it turns out that getting the app yanked from the app stores is the worst thing that happens to them, and as much as I want to encourage young entrepreneurs, I’m really confused why nobody around them stopped them for long enough to say “uhm, maybe this isn’t a great idea.”