Facebook forces third-party clients Swipe and Simple Social off the Play Store
The Google Play Store is home to several third-party Facebook clients that let users access the social media platform on their phones. The clients offer a faster, lighter, and better-designed interface than the social media company’s own apps for Android, and as a result, they’ve amassed a large user base over the years. But Facebook is now cracking down on a few of these clients, namely Swipe and Simple Social, and forcing their developers to take the apps off the Play Store.
Facebook’s lawyers have reportedly sent out cease and desist notices to Swipe and Simple Social’s developers (via Android Police), asking them to take their apps off the Play Store. Swipe for Facebook’s developer shared the following message on the app’s subreddit after receiving the notice from the company:
It is with a very heavy heart that the day has finally come to say goodbye to Swipe for Facebook.
Today, I have received a cease and desist letter from some attorneys representing Facebook Inc. My social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram have also been permanently disabled (unfortunately locking me out of tons of memories over the years and contact with many distant relatives). I believe this has happened to numerous other devs as well meaning the day of Facebook wrapper apps have finally come to an end.
Because of all this, I have pulled both Swipe for Facebook and Swipe Pro for Facebook from the Google Play Store. The app will still function for those of you who have it, although I do not know for how much longer.
Simple Social’s developer shared the following message via a pop-up notification for those still using the app:
Due to changes created by Facebook, Simple Social is no longer supported. You can continue to use Simple Social, however YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN ACCORD. Your Facebook account may possibly be disabled temporarily or permanently, which is not under the control of Creative Trends. Sorry for any inconveniences this may cause. Thank you for all your support over the last 5 years. Have a great day.
Although the developers haven’t shared the contents of the notice, Simple Social’s developer Jorell Rutledge told Android Police that Facebook took issue with the app’s CSS modifications to hide sponsored posts on the platform, and accessing public Facebook data. The company’s main issue could be centered around theming and modifying the social network experience outside of the company’s vision, which is practically the USP of all third-party experiences.
The apps are functional if you have them installed, though there’s no guarantee on how long they will stay functional. With the developers withdrawing support and also having their personal accounts suspended in some cases, there’s no guarantee on how long these apps will work and if it shall stay safe for your account to be accessed from a third-party app.