Microsoft in a surprise move has removed numerous third-party Snapchat apps from the Windows Phone Store, leaving its users adrift without any official app for the platform.
The move follows Snapchat's announcement from last month saying it would permanently lock down accounts of all the third-party app users from the service.
Microsoft confirmed to The Verge that the request for removal of third-party Windows Phone apps comes from Snapchat itself following its decision to disable the third-party APIs used by developers across platforms.
Those Windows Phone users who use 6Snap app, which is one of the most popular third-party Snapchat app for Windows Phone users, are also getting their accounts locked, as reported by Windows Central. Users who are blocked have been receiving an email (via Techcrunch) from the Snapchat team, stating, "Hi [user name]. Despite repeated warnings from us about the dangers of using third-party apps, our records indicate that you have continued to use these unauthorised programmes. We regret that we have now permanently locked your account."
Rudy Huyn, the developer of 6Snap app, however tweeted that his team "will work closely with Microsoft now to convince Snapchat to change its mind." Also, the ban is said not to stay for long as the firm is said to be already working on building its own mobile messaging platform, which could mean the release of an official API for third-party applications soon.
Notably, the ephemeral messaging service was said to have been hacked in October, and over 500MB worth of images were leaked. The leak was identified to be due to third-party services, with the popular Snapsaved.com named - a website that allowed users to save images sent via Snapchat.
However, none of this will help Windows Phone users who, without any official Snapchat app for the platform for the time being, will find it extremely difficult to use the ephemeral messaging service.