Snapchat clones removed from Windows Mobile: why we won’t be seeing an official Snapchat app anytime soon
Windows Phone users may have noticed something missing from their apps list recently, as Microsoft start removing unofficial clones of picture messaging service Snapchat. Although Windows Phone users account for around 10% of the global smartphone market, there is currently still no official Snapchat support for the platform.
Until now, users have had to make do with third-party alternatives such as 6snap. However, 6snap’s developer Rudy Huyn recently confirmed on Twitter that not only his, but all apps unofficially using the service’s API have been removed from the Windows Store.
6snap has disappeared as well as all snapchat apps on store. I will work closely with Microsoft now to convince snapchat to change its mind
— Rudy Huyn (@RudyHuyn) December 20, 2014
Some have speculated this is an indication of Snapchat clearing the way for an official version of its app to hit the Windows Phone platform. However, there may be other motivations behind the apps’ removal.
Snapchat users were the subject of a massive leak earlier this year, with over 100,000 pictures leaked onto the internet. Snapchat claimed this was due to a flaw in the security of “a website that offered to save Snaps”, which users log into with their Snapchat credentials. As a result of this incident, increasing attention has been drawn to the security of Snapchat and services like it.
In a blog post, Snapchat has pledged to improve its security by “calling on Apple and Google to take down third-party applications that access our API”. It has apparently extended the same request to Microsoft, as the copycat apps have been taken down at Snapchat’s request, according to The Verge.
The company has yet to make any mention of a dedicated Windows Snapchat app, however, raising the possibility that users on Microsoft’s platform may simply be unable to access it.
The organisation has pledged to develop a public API in order to prevent third-party developers reverse-engineering Snapchat’s private software. This could allow Huyn and other developers to create fully-supported and secure ports of the app for Windows Phone, even if Snapchat isn’t working on an official app itself just yet.