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Facebook forces third-party versions of its Android app off the Play Store

This app is no longer found on the Play Store. (Source: Swipe)
This app is no longer found on the Play Store. (Source: Swipe)
Many Android phone owners use apps that mirror or "wrap" the mobile Facebook interface rather than use this company's app. However, the social media giant has started to deprive them of this option. It has already had the apps Simple Social and Swipe taken down from Google's Play Store.

Many Android users prefer alternative versions of the Facebook app for their phones, as they may find them simpler, cleaner or easier to navigate. Swipe for Facebook is an example of these that, for example, combine the social media feed and its Messenger service, as well as themes and other interesting settings. However, this wrapper is no longer available to download from Google's Play Store.

This, according to Swipe's developer, is thanks to a cease and desist letter sent by Facebook's lawyers. Furthermore, they also claim that their own personal accounts on the platform, as well as those of Instagram, have been permanently suspended.

Jorell Rutledge, who has developed the similar third-party app Simple Social, has followed Swipe's lead, partially in order to avoid another loss of personal social media accounts. Facebook has apparently cited the use of its data in issuing the cease-and-desist directives.

Then again, this data is apparently public, and is integrated so as build a given account-holder's profile in an app's UI. The developers have also indicated that Facebook also took issue with the CSS modifications that allowed users to avoid having to look at sponsored posts afforded by third-party apps.

Currently, Swipe and Simple Social should still work on phones with these apps already installed. However, in the latter's case, the developer has found it necessary to warn ex-customers that Facebook may deactivate their accounts as well should they continue to use the app.

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 5109 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 04 > Facebook forces third-party versions of its Android app off the Play Store
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-04-19 (Update: 2021-04-19)