Update: The two Telegram iOS apps are now back on the App Store. The original story follows below
Telegram messaging apps appear to have violated Apple App Store guidelines and are currently not available for download on iOS. 9to5Mac spotted the absence yesterday, having been alerted via a Reddit thread.
At the time of writing, a search for Telegram on the App Store returns chat apps Viber, Skype, Messenger, and WeChat as the top results, but Telegram does not.
The original Telegram app and a rebuild, called Telegram X, which the messaging company officially announced for Android yesterday – touting it as a coding experiment aimed at accelerating the platform’s development – have been pulled from the platform. ‘IOS App Store at the moment.
The problem is not entirely clear. But answering a question from a Twitter user, why his two iOS apps are AWOL, Telegram founder Pavel Durov tweeted that it is “inappropriate content”.
“We have been alerted by Apple that inappropriate content is being made available to our users and that both apps have been removed from the App Store. Once we put protections in place, we expect apps to be back on the App Store, ”he wrote.
We have contacted Apple and Telegram with questions and will update this story with any additional information.
Apple’s guidelines for iOS app developers include a section on security that prohibits “disturbing or offensive content”. A subsection here, regarding user-generated content (which would apply to any messaging app with a public broadcast facility, as Telegram did), notes that these types of apps “present challenges. individuals “- and must therefore contain:
- A method to filter objectionable content from being posted on the app
- A mechanism for reporting offensive content and prompt responses to concerns
- The possibility of blocking abusive users of the service
- Contact information published so users can easily reach you
“Applications with user-generated content or services that end up being used primarily for pornographic content, objectification of real people (eg, ‘hot or not’ voting), physical threats or bullying does not belong to the App Store and can be removed without notice, ”the iOS guidelines add.
Why rebuild it?
In its blog officially announcing Telegram X for Android yesterday, the company describes the rebuilt and redesigned app as “experimental,” saying it “may or may not replace the existing official app in the long term.”
“But even if it doesn’t, it will speed up Telegram’s development by allowing us to quickly test new approaches and technologies,” he added.
Along with being touted as faster and more battery efficient, Telegram X features an updated UX, with a sharper look, smoother animations, and new swipe actions for shortcuts.
An iOS version of Telegram X apparently appeared on Product Hunt in December. Before disappearing from the App Store at the end of last month – on grounds of “inappropriate content”.
The Telegram X blog post does not mention payments. But, as we reported last month, the company is gearing up to join the cryptocurrency craze – by launching its own ICO, with a plan to raise $ 1.2 billion to fund a transformation in the A full-fledged blockchain network messaging platform for hosting decentralized applications, a la Ethereum.
Given this massive ambition, pairing Telegram and starting over – with “an entirely new codebase and without all the legacy components that our old apps have accumulated over the years,” as Telegram puts it – could also be the way. de Durov to quietly lay the foundations for retooling his platform as a blockchain.
According to the whitepaper technical launch schedule we reviewed, Q2 is the expected timeframe to perform an MVP test of the Telegram open network.
Until now, Durov has remained discreet on the plans – although he broke his silence to warn people against fraudulent offers to “buy grams” (the alleged name of the incoming Telegram token). But maybe Telegram X marks the spot.