There’s a new unofficial Snapchat app available for Windows 10, but don’t bother

Snapchat has had a controversial history on Microsoft’s mobile platform, stemming from the removal of third-party Snapchat apps from the Windows Phone Store back in late 2014. Snapchat even removed Rudy Huyn’s 6Snap app, which was highly regarded as an amazing third-party app to compliment the service on Windows Phone, as well as Rudy’s 6discover, a Windows Phone compliment to Snapchat’s Discover feature. Rudy tried his best to plead his case, but in the end, he lost the battle. At the time, Snapchat responded by saying the removal of 6snap from the Windows Store only affected a “single digit percentage” of its user base so it wasn’t too concerned.

So where did all of this stem from?

Back in early 2014, Snapchat faced legal scrutiny with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations that it mislead users about the level of privacy it offered as well as collected user information in violation of its own policy. This caused Snapchat to endure legal trouble and eventually settle the dispute without admitting or denying any wrongdoing. Snapchat had promised the FTC that it would revise its privacy policy and have their company monitored by an independent privacy professional for the next 20 years. “If a company markets privacy and security as key selling points in pitching its service to consumers, it is critical that it keep those promises,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. “Any company that makes misrepresentations to consumers about its privacy and security practices risks FTC action.” Unfortunately, a few months after, an event known as the “Snappening” took place.

In October of 2014, nearly 200,000 Snapchat accounts were accessed due to a security breach. This was known as the “Snappening” leading to private photos and videos being published online. Snapchat said this security breach was due to a third-party app and began sending emails and banning users who still used any third-party apps as a preventative measure. This makes sense, considering Snapchat faced legal scrutiny with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just a few months prior. Snapchat took swift action and began banning third-party apps.

This brings us to a new third-party Snapchat app for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile called Specter (here’s the link to the Windows Store app listing) which was brought to our attention this week. This app costs $1.49 and supposedly allows you to login to Snapchat with your account details, send image messages, and receive text, image, and video messages. It’s a very basic app that lacks a lot of features and polish. But here’s the thing. We don’t recommend you waste your money on this app for the following reasons.

First of all, Snapchat will discover this app and have it removed from the Windows Store. Not only will you be wasting your money purchasing the app, but you won’t get any support or updates. Secondly, chances are you will get your account banned or locked for using the third-party app. We already know Snapchat will go to great lengths to deal with privacy and security concerns, especially considering their legal troubles with the FTC, so don’t waste your time.

There are several petitions available online asking Snapchat to bring an official app to Windows Phone. Until we see an official app, be careful when you purchase a third-party Snapchat app — it won’t be worth wasting your money and potentially having your account banned. This is information we think people should be aware of before spending any money on third-party Snapchat apps that pop up in the Windows Store.

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