Apple removes Like Patrol’s Instagram ‘stalking app’ from the App Store

The Like Patrol app that alerts you when your Instagram followers like or comment on a photo has been removed from Apple’s App Store for violating its guidelines. 

Apple’s move follows a cease-and-desist letter Instagram sent to Like Patrol in late October regarding the app’s violation of Instagram’s scraping policies, according to CNET. Like Patrol has been criticized as a “stalking app” since it lets its subscribers see every move that the people they follow make. 

The app that debuted in July markets itself to those in relationships as a way to keep an eye on your significant other’s social media habits. 

“New guy? New girl? What are they up to on Instagram? With Like Patrol, you can see the posts they specifically like! Find out who their top fans are,” Like Patrol’s website says. 

Digital Trends reached out to Like Patrol to comment on the app’s removal from Apple’s App Store, but we haven’t received a response yet. Like Patrol’s founder, Sergio Luis Quintero, told CNET that the app plans to try to get back onto Apple’s App store. 

“We strongly believe that our app does not violate Apple policies, we plan to appeal this decision in the coming days,” Quintero said. “If our app’s functionality did violate any policies, then Instagram would have violated the exact same policies since 2011 to 2019 with the Following tab. Why weren’t they taken down?”

In October, Instagram removed the “Following Tab” feature within the app that showed your followers interactions such as posts you liked. The Like Patrol app is similar to that feature, but goes a step further by sending you notifications any time someone you follow likes a photo or posts a comment.

Instagram is moving more toward privacy when it comes to likes, and even plans to test hiding like counts in the U.S. starting next week. The social media platform wants to try to curb cyberbullying and anxiety that often comes with worrying about checking your social media for validation based on the number of likes. 

We also reached out to Apple to comment on its decision to remove Like Patrol from the App Store, and we’ll update this story once we hear back. 

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