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Copycats are not new in App Store, especially when new apps are gaining popularity. This is the current case with Meta’s Threads app, which some developers are trying to imitate. One of them was a content generator (called “Threads for Insta” developed by SocialKit LTD) that managed to reach App Store’s top charts and gain 300,000 downloads before being kicked out by Apple.

Threads’ unavailability in the EU is seen as a huge factor in the “success” of the copycat app in fooling users into downloading it. According to a duo of security researchers named Mysk, it even ranked #1 in Switzerland. The app also dominated the social media section of the App Store in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. And while the app is no longer available after being taken down by Apple (and so as all the apps developed by SocialKit LTD), Sensor Tower said the app raked up 300,000 downloads from EU customers. 

This scene is not new, as it was almost the same strategy applied by other developers who tried to copy the ChatGPT app prior to its official release in the App Store. At that time, the developers of the apps tried to use the words ChatGPT, GPT-4 (or even GPT-5), or OpenAI in order to fool users. Surprisingly, when OpenAI released the official ChatGPT app in the App Store, users reported having difficulty finding the right app as the App Store itself kept on suggesting copycat ones, though this is no longer the case now.

On the other hand, in the case of Threads, the presence of fake Threads apps in the App Store will possibly continue in the EU. With Threads still not being offered in the said market, it is certain that suspicious developers will continuously try to create Threads-like apps. In fact, despite the removal of the imitation app mentioned above, there are still apps in the App Store advertently trying to mimic Threads. With this, it seems the only permanent solution for this is the arrival of the official Threads app in the EU. But with the clash between Threads’ data collection policy and the EU’s strict data privacy rules, that is highly unlikely to happen.


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