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The OG App, an ad- and Reels-free Instagram clone, is pulled from the App Store

The Verge logo The Verge 9/29/2022 Mia Sato
© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

An app appealing to the nostalgia of an Instagram without Reels and recommendations was pulled from the App Store just as developers say it was taking off.

The OG App allows users to log in with their Instagram account and browse without ads, recommendations, and Reels — increasingly obtrusive features on Instagram that have caused widespread pushback from users. The app’s name captures the same sentiment: many users miss the old Instagram.

But just a day after the app officially launched, it was pulled from the App Store on Wednesday, Engadget reports. On Twitter, the OG App creators said the app got 10,000 downloads and was climbing the rankings before it was removed.

It’s not clear whether Apple removed the OG App at the request of Meta — Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Meta has policies against clone sites — or third-party sites that duplicate content — and has filed lawsuits against people who have created clones.

Meta spokesperson Ryan Brack told The Verge that the app violates policies and the company is taking “all appropriate enforcement actions” but didn’t specify what that included. The OG App creators also claimed on Twitter that team members’ personal Instagram and Facebook profiles were banned. The OG App team didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge.

The OG App gave users the option to remove ads, suggested posts, and Reels. © Image: The OG App The OG App gave users the option to remove ads, suggested posts, and Reels.

The appetite for something like The OG App speaks to the growing frustration many Instagram users have with the platform’s recent pivots as it attempts to compete with TikTok. More short-form video and an influx of recommended content drove users to plead for a return to a bygone version of Instagram — something that looks a lot like the OG App. And though Meta is likely right that the app violated rules against clone sites, the tougher pill to swallow for fans of the OG App is that this version of Instagram is not coming back any time soon.

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