Tired of the current state of the app, a group of developers set out to create an Instagram version that removes all ads and allows you to create custom channels.
It is named OG application (opens in a new tab) and brings Instagram back to basics. It’s not just another social media platform, and you still have many of the same features as the Stories and Explore page. But now you are in control of what content you see on your Instagram feed thanks to a series of tools and filters. In the last report (opens in a new tab)the developers said they wanted to “put users, not advertisers, first in this app.”
At the time of writing, the OG app is only official available in the Google Play Store (opens in a new tab). If you go to the Apple App Store all you get is an infinitely loading website. However, you can join the TestFlight program to try out the beta version of The OG. Instructions on how to attach can be found on the developer’s website (opens in a new tab).
First-hand features and experiences
According to the developers, the purpose of the tools and filters is to allow users to tweak their Instagram accounts.
You can create new channels that only contain content from different sources, such as friends, news sites, or sports pages. Users will have the option to disable the rollers and the exploration page using filters. Channel updates can also be disabled for the full 24 hours. As mentioned before, The OG app removes all ads from your channel, so you have nothing but the content you want to see.
While the idea of an ad-free Instagram excites us, the impressions of using it were slightly less than satisfying.
First off, logging into an Instagram account is complicated. After launching the application, you will need to connect to your Instagram profile using a phone number or a linked Google account. Once connected, you need to log in a second time with your Instagram credentials. We did all of this only to get an error message telling you to try again in a few minutes. The error may have been from the latest update but the app forced us to download it so we got stuck.
Fortunately, a fix is coming. According the developer’s official Twitter account (opens in a new tab)there are plans to completely “[revamp]… The login flow that should solve 90 percent of problems [users] are directed. “There are also new features on the horizon. The OG team is working on shared channels,” sharing custom channels with friends “and the ability to download Instagram feeds.
And on the official website, the developers point to their next project: an application that will combine multiple social media channels (such as Instagram and Twitter) into one. We reached out to the team to ask when people can expect all these changes and the upcoming app. This story will be updated if we get a reply.
I wish we could log in as the OG App sounds really interesting. Instagram without ads sounds great on its own; everything else is an added bonus.
The question remains if Meta will kill The OG App. And the answer to that is “maybe.” According to the eminent industry leak Alessandro Paluzzi (opens in a new tab)The OG app “uses Instagram’s private API without permission.” The API (or Application Program Interface) is the piece of software that allows it to communicate with other applications. Paluzzi says The OG will not last long in online stores due to the lack of permission, which could explain the sudden disappearance of the Apple App Store. Something similar happened when Google has removed YouTube Vanced (RIP) which was not an official application.
So far, no one has heard anything from Meta about the OG app. It is possible that Meta will knock the application down. But its existence should tell the Meta something.
Recently, people have been very dissatisfied with Instagram. The platform is making a lot of pressure to be more like Tik-Tok, much to ire my own Daryl Baxter from TechRadar. Plus, Instagram makes changes frequently which deteriorate its most basic functionality. If The OG App survives, it will surely find many fans among the disadvantaged Instagram users.
Update 9-29-2022: Meta seems to have caught the wind of The OG App. A representative of the developer, Un1feed, came back to us and stated that everyone on the team has their Facebook and Instagram accounts permanently blocked by Meta. They claim that none of their Facebook accounts were linked to the app, but their Instagram accounts certainly were.
The developer goes so far as to say that Meta “is taking extraordinary measures to suppress and censor [them]”. The OG app is still available on the Google Play Store and not available on the Apple App Store. They also shared with us an explanation of Apple as to why it pulled an OG claiming that the app had unauthorized access to Instagram’s service and violated the Meta rights on the platform.