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New Rules for Alternative Clients

Among many other things, is unique in that independent developers can create their own clients. The source code of all our apps is open, and we provide a 100% open and free API on the server side for anyone to build upon.

This level of openness and transparency is unprecedented for mass market messaging apps, and we are proud to provide it. Thanks to this, hundreds of third-party client apps were created for, and some of them have now reached tens of millions of downloads.

As the ecosystem grows, however, a need for consistency and predictability arises. This is particularly important when the privacy of users is concerned. For example, self-destructing media should always get self-destructed in all apps in the ecosystem. Providing a way to keep self-destructing media on the receiving end may be tempting, but this would break the trust and violate the privacy of the users that share them.

This is why earlier this week we updated the Terms of Service of the API. Not much has changed: our API is as free and open, as always. However, we’ve added some new guidelines to the ToS, which are aimed at better protecting the privacy and security of the users, preserving expected behavior across the ecosystem, and also at increasing the transparency of how third-party forks work.

If you are a user or a developer of an alternative client, please have a look at the updated Terms of Service here – We hope that these new guidelines will allow third party developers to make their apps more useful and secure than ever.