The OG App: Does Anyone Actually Miss the ‘Old Instagram’?

‘The OG App,’ an Instagram client promising an ad-free and suggestion-free feed has been removed from app stores. We dig into the numbers.

Over the last couple weeks, a number of stories have emerged about an app called The OG App. An apparent response to frustration over the ‘TikTokification’ of social media, it’s an Instagram client that promises to deliver the old-school Instagram user experience, complete with an ad-free and suggestion-free feed.

However — and presumably to the chagrin of the Kardashians and their fellow Instagram nostalgics — Apple removed The OG App from the App Store on September 26th, 2022 for accessing Instagram’s service in an unauthorized manner. Google followed suit shortly thereafter, removing the Android version of the app from Google Play earlier this week.

Now, since we’ve been monitoring alternative social media platforms like BeReal for quite some time, we wanted to see just how much steam The OG App generated before Apple and Google pulled the plug on it.

Here’s what we found (click the links to jump to the relevant sections):

‘The OG App’ Was Downloaded Just 12,348 Times Globally

The chart above depicts The OG App’s iOS downloads from September 3rd until September 25th, 2022. As you can see, it was downloaded 2,475 times in this time frame.

Likewise, this chart depicts the app’s Android downloads from September 27th until October 4th, 2022. This version was downloaded 9,873 times.

Considering the app’s short run on app stores, that’s not actually too bad. Still, it’s not exactly worth writing home about.

‘The OG App’ Peaked at 179th Among Android ‘Social’ Apps in the United States

The OG App didn’t exactly shake up the top chart rankings either. The image above shows how the app performed in category-specific charts, across both app stores, in the United States. While the Android version of the app peaked at 179th among social apps on October 1st, 2022, the iOS version of the app never managed to crack the top 400.

‘The OG App’ Maxed Out at 452 Monthly Active Users

Finally, let’s turn to Monthly Active Users (MAUs) for the Android version of The OG App. During the app’s undeniably short run, just 452 users globally actually used it.

Final Thoughts

Social media is a fickle beast. Despite user protestations, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and other major platforms following TikTok’s lead have shown no serious signs of slumping. Instead, there’s an argument to be made that becoming more like TikTok has enabled these platforms to keep abreast with their Chinese counterpart.

Still, the success of apps like BeReal and, to a lesser extent, Donald Trump’s Truth Social, has demonstrated that there is in fact a market for idiosyncratic approaches to social media. BeReal is a particularly strong example, having been downloaded upwards of 53 million times globally in 2022.

The OG App was an interesting attempt at tapping into this market. Legal issues aside, it managed to drum up a good deal of attention during its short-lived run. Still, the media coverage far outpaced The OG App’s actual performance, leaving us wondering: Do people really want the old Instagram?

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