It seems that Microsoft is removing third-party Snapchat clones from its Windows Store, and not necessarily to make way for an official release.
Despite Windows Phone making up approximately 10 per cent of the global market, there is no licensed Snapchat app for the platform.
Currently, Windows users have to make do with a number of Snapchat clones, one of the most popular of which is 6Snap. 6Snap developer Rudy Huyn confirmed on Twitter that his app has been removed alongside all software unofficially using the service’s API.
“6snap has disappeared as well as all snapchat apps on store,” he wrote. “I will work closely with Microsoft now to convince snapchat to change its mind”
While some have suggested that the removal of third-party versions could mean an authorised version is on the way, it is probable that other factors have played a major role.
Earlier this year, Snapchat users were the subject of a huge leak, resulting in 100,000 images being posted online. Snapchat responded by claiming that the security breach occurred at a website offering to “save Snaps,” which users accessed via their Snapchat credentials. Following the leak, greater scrutiny was placed on services that use Snapchat’s API.
Similarly, in a blog post in October, Snapchat addressed the issue of third-party software, stressing that it needs to be removed in order to guarantee user security.
“When you give your login credentials to a third-party application, you’re allowing a developer, and possibly a criminal, to access your account information and send information on your behalf,” it said.
So far, there has been no indication that a dedicated Windows Snapchat app is on the way.
Snapchat has, however, claimed a public API is in the works to stop developers from reverse-engineering Snapchat’s software. The public API would enable them instead to create fully-supported Snabarclpchat clones that offer the same level of security as the official Android and iOS iterations.