Microsoft has removed a host of third-party Snapchat alternatives from its Windows Phone store after the photo messaging service indicated that it would start cracking down on unofficial apps in a bid to tighten security. Rudy Huyn, the developer of popular Windows Phone Snapchat alternative 6snap, confirmed on Twitter that his app — and all other third-party Snapchat apps previously available on Microsoft's operating system — had been removed.
There's no official Snapchat app for Windows Phone
In a blog post written in November, the company said that while it had "enjoyed some of the ways developers have tried to make Snapchat better," some creators had built services that would compromise the user's security. Snapchat has come under fire from security researchers and developers who argue that the company's security is too lax and user information is accessible through a widely circulated unofficial API. As part of a new effort to counter these claims, Windows Central reports that Snapchat has also threatened to lock the accounts of some people who have continued to use third-party alternatives.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that the apps were removed at Snapchat's request "following Snapchat's decision to disable APIs used by third party apps across platforms." It's not clear why Microsoft is taking the Snapchat-a-likes down themselves, but with no official Snapchat app on the Windows Phone store, their removal means users of Microsoft's mobile operating system now have no way to access the photo messaging service on their phones.