Snapchat hopes to stop copycats by acquiring the Strong.Codes team

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Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but when you’re the cat who keeps getting copied, all that flattery may be a bit much. That certainly appears to be Snapchat’s mentality, as parent company Snap recently acquired the team that created Strong.Codes, a firm known for obscuring software code, thereby making it more difficult to rip off. At the beginning of the year, Snap hired Laurnet Balmelli, one of the engineers who co-founded Strong.Codes. And in the months since, the rest of the four-person team has jumped ship to Snap. While not all of the quartet will move to California (the latest hires are staying in Switzerland), Strong.Codes has shuttered.

According to Bloomberg, this is by no means the only moves Snap is making to ensure that Snapchat plays its cards as close to the chest as possible. After all, a number of other social media platforms have released eerily similar features to the ephemeral photo app in recent months, sometimes even beating Snapchat at its own game. But now, it looks as though Snap is trying to turn things around, and as Bloomberg reports, is now advertising across Switzerland in hopes of hiring information-security experts and cryptographers in the European nation.

Snap also appears to be ramping up its European presence as a whole, as the company is serving as one of the leading sponsors of cybersecurity conference Black Alps 17, which is being held near Geneva, Switzerland. A couple months ago, Snap hired an ex-Facebook employee to head up operations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland as well.

While Snapchat remains a popular app, founder and CEO Evan Spiegel and his investors may have cause for concern. After a much-hyped IPO, the company hasn’t been performing all that well financially. On Tuesday, July 18, shares hit an all-time low of $14.65, and it is reported that the declining stock price has dropped the net worth of Spiegel and co-founder Bobby Murphy a staggering $4.3 billion.

So look out, developers. Snap could soon be guarding its code base with an iron wall, courtesy of the folks behind Strong.Code.