How you can't get Snapchat on Windows Phone: The whole sorry saga

If you're new to the platform in particular, you might be wondering why you can't have it. After all, iPhone and Android owners have it, right?

With there being no hope for the third-party offerings we did have, here's a run down of the tale of Snapchat and Windows Phone.

No official app

Snapchat

That's the first and most important thing in this whole story. Snapchat doesn't have an official app for Windows Phone. And it doesn't look like it plans to have one any time in the foreseeable future.

But why is that?

Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, evidently doesn't care much for Windows Phone.

Then there was the time you could request support for your currently unsupported device. And then there was the time that went away. Whatever the actual reason behind it, the only official way to pressure Snapchat for an app disappeared into the night.

Will that ever change? Will Snapchat ever relent and release an official app for Windows Phone? We're not holding our breath.

The tale of the third-party

Swapchat

Where official support is lacklustre, or completely absent, the excellent Windows Phone developer community often comes through. Instagram is a fine example of this. Despite having an official app, it's been over a year since it was updated and there are third-party solutions that offer a much better experience.

So, in the absence of Snapchat, enter the likes of Swapchat, 6Snap and a few others.

6Snap in particular went on to become a community favorite. Developer, Rudy Huyn, is a committed and talented Windows Phone developer. As with his Instagram app, 6Tag, 6Snap arguably had a better overall user experience than the official Snapchat apps on other platforms.

Support from source is something we'd always welcome. But as long as there's a good solution, it's not the end of the world.

So what happened?

Snapchat had some security issues. After a huge number of users photos were stolen and posted online, Snapchat clamped down on allowing third-party services access.

Apps such as 6Snap used reverse-engineered APIs to get them into Snapchat. And it was third-party apps that were ultimately responsible for the security breach.

So, in a not totally unjustifiable move, Snapchat started to clamp down on its users not sending their Snaps through official channels. First by offering a warning, then by locking accounts, and then the biggest blow of all, having third-party apps removed from the Store.

And that means as of right now, Windows Phone has no Snapchat. At all.

The future

Snapchat was supposedly developing a public API of some sort. But that still hasn't materialized. And despite the best efforts of people like Rudy Huyn, Snapchat doesn't want to know.

So, the future, if you're a Snapchatter, is bleak on Windows Phone. It's a sad state of affairs, but it's the world we live in. What would it take for Snapchat to give in and make an app? Who knows.

A change of attitude towards the platform would be top of the list.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

437 Comments
  • Sad, I just feel like most of the app news lately is about apps we can't get. But what do we say? Windows 10 is coming
  • This is going to be one long thread.
  • But we had this sort of discussion yesterday. Why do u do this oh windows central?
  • Ads my friend, clickable revenue.    Anyway, if I was below age 30, this news would be disappointing. Other than that, the tool is useless to me even though I have a Android tablet with it...don't use it.
  • Some articles like this one are click bait seeing as how this story has already been beat to death. It's a double edged sword though, if WP fails than it would spell the eventual demise of windowscentral. I guess they already have their ios and droid sites as backup
  • Mobile Nations already has "their ios and droid sites".
  • If comments are an indication, Windows gets a hell off a lot more traffic than their ios side.
  • I have noticed more theses types of articles as of recent and less useful news as of late. WMPoweruser is doing a better job as of recent.
  • @thezunelune i don't like me too recently wcentral contents it seems someone is paying them to spread FUD or such...
    Going to uninstall the wcentral app is they keep with this way
    A disappointed reader.
  • I like the way your nick sounds. (or however how I think it sounds)
  • I think WC is becoming slightly BGRified
  • More like below 20.
  • I'm 19 and I can't be bothered with this security façade.
  • Or maybe because Windows Central/Mobile Nations wants to spread the word about the trouble we've been having with Snapchat in a conveniently placed timeline that's legitimate and accurate? Considering they're one of the biggest sources for news on Microsoft I think it would only make sense. They're thinking about anyone and everyone to see the truth on the relationship between Snapchat and Microsoft, not just the sad hearts of the Windows community. There aren't even ads in the app, which I assume is where most of their viewing is done from nowadays.
  • Bingo! trmnrs, you nailed it. These articles are to inform newer users and to draw attention to the BS some of these companies are pulling. That should be obvious to anyone with a thinking brain, but sadly common sense isn't so common anymore.
  • If I cared about this teen-bait App I'd write an article pointing out the number of Snapchat is losing, US vs worldwide, as a result of the petulance of their CEO. Let him explain why they don't need new customers as a part of their growth model.
  • "This is going to be one long thread." Literally, that comment made the milk I was drinking come out of my nose! You win the internet today.
  • Really? Because lately all I'm seeing is the typical WP trolls losing their ammunition as banks release apps in masses exponentially larger than the two we lost and we see gaps like PayPal Here closed. Honestly, even when we had 6snap I thought it was dumb. My very first initial impression was that I'd just limited myself to only MMSing people who use Snapchat when I already had the capability of MMSing everyone in my contacts list. I've been told I'd care less about logic and more about how popular it is if I were still in my teens. And even though I still have an iPhone 6 and LG G3 to fall back on, it sits as one of those installed apps I never really use. It doesn't seem to offer anything for a 27 year old married homeowner who has children. If I want self destructive messages I'd go to something that's actually secure like Cyber Dust.
  • Tlrtheory, it matters because the largest gains in WP market share as of late are the low end devices. Who buys the low end? People on a budget, and parents to give the device to their kids (which I would argue is a far more important demographic since they will grow up to buy their own devices soon). I am a teacher and I hear of two ways the kids communicate, kik and snapchat. Snapchat being increasingly common. If WP continues to be the platform without snapchat, it will lose its coolness amongst the youth (which I can say it has because I have seen a lot more WP in the school over the last two years and I often get compliments for my phone)
  • Don't get me wrong, I'm not doubting the objective importance of this app at all. Only noting that I personally think it's silly.
  • And make no mistake, i also agree that the app is totally stupid. I especially hate it because it is a favored method of bullys to send mean content that will leave no proof. Funny thing is, i literally just asked a sample of students why they use Snapchat instead of instagram or some other service and NOT ONE of them could come up with a single legitimate reason. I still stick with my original statement though that "high profile" apps such as this not being on WP is a HUGE problem for marketshare.
  • Except I don't see market share shifting much because we got Snapchat...or WhatsApp...or Instagram.  People are seemingly entrenched in their current ecosystem.  What do we have as a market disrupting feature, service or application?  I feel like those things are needed to entice more people to switch.  
  • Its not that IF we got Snapchat all of a sudden we would have more users, its that IF WE CONTINUE NOT TO HAVE high profile apps, it will be one more reason a potential user would NOT use the WP platform.
  • Cause its fun, it's alot easier on that app to take a quick snap and upload it then it is with Instagram plus if some kid is getting bullied over snap chat it's not hard to delete the person or block them and you also have a score so its kinda like a game.
  • I need to jump in here, where is the colorful fuck Evan, fuck snatchchat, etc...on Easter no less..come on people, open the flood gates...
  • You're exactly right, and this is what people need to understand.
  • You do make a fair point but if parents are letting their kids on snapchat, they need to think twice. I'm actually GLAD that WP doesn't have it as the father of a tweenage kid. Instagram is bad enough, lol. Anyway, it sucks for marketshare but it's one less app I have to block.
  • You know what I think?
    Android is scared of windows. So they paid the poor developer of snap chat to keep his app away from windows store.
    Seems legit actually. Why else would he hold a grudge against windows then?
  • Anyone rate Xim, I downloaded it recently.
  • What you're saying has nothing to do with the average consumer, and making the platform more appealing to a wider range of people....
    ......
    This isn't all about Snapchat... There's a much larger issue at hand here, and we shouldn't just disregard it because we might not care about a specific app..... That's always been the least affective, and most annoying, argument.
  • It would take 100 regional and non-US banks to make up for importance of losing Citibank.  You need US customers with high disposable income, this is where devs make their money and Citi bank has millions of customers.
  • Kik? Kik messenger, from the guys who made the sidekick phone? I never saw anyone using it here in Italy... How popular is it where you live?
  • I don't think Windows 10 will help either. That's mainly because Snapchat is a mobile only app. That said, universal apps won't be of any use here and that means less users in the end again. So, better not rely on Windows 10 for your Snapchat needs.
  • It will help because the more people are on Win10 the more apps will be made = more people using Windows Phone especially when the new Win10 comes on out highend devices.  Then these standouts will have to make an app or lose big as Winphone grows.  I can tell you that once Win10 is out and we have some serious highend devices, I will be switching my company to pure MS mobile.  Surface 3's are already my standard kit for the mobile force. Just been waiting to pull the trigger on the phones.
  • Still no guarantee developers are going to bite. The argument is already made that they are ignoring millions of potential users and that doesn't seem to matter. They still ignore the platform. I just don't see how an app possibly being available for PC as well as mobile is gonna make a difference. No ones clamoring for Snapchat or Instagram on a PC. They want it on their phones. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Perhaps someone should go and tell google to stop that whole android apps on chrome OS project then.
  • Except of course, one has nothing to do with the other. Certain apps, like Instagram, Snapchat, and the new live streaming apps, like Periscope, are mobile only due to how they're used: they need access to your GPS, your camera, and they thrive based on the user having a device in their pocket at all times, for communication, photo taking, or live streams; they also have closed APIs, without a website or a desktop app you can log into. More and more apps are moving to this 'mobile only' model.
  • I am sorry to say that Instagram and periscope are not only on mobile. As I use them on my Laptop as well as my tablet. 
  • In my opinion they are still in better position than MS. At least they have platform for which devs are making apps and they are trying to make those apps available on desktops, while MS it seems cant lure devs to make apps for their platform, since there is no demand for their mobile OS. It's post-PC era, as Steve said it, and MS did not recognize that on time...
  • Xxcorpxx....With a username like yours...only imagination could discern what your business is...
  • Lol - Wine actually. XxCORPxX  just old gamer stuff.  This name goes back to the days of Aol Cd's in the mail.
  • Yeah, W10 COULD help... Especially with the popularity of Surface, and other Windows tablets rising.... This is mobile.
  • NBC News App got pulled last night too. Wait till Windows Central picks on that news in a few days! :P
  • Hate to break this to you but it's still there (at least in the US): https://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/nbc-news/70d9eabe-69b1-49a5-a65a-4b58f792b6ae   The NBC Today app was removed from the WP Store and Windows Central reported it 4 days ago: http://www.windowscentral.com/nbcs-today-app-pulled-windows-phone-store   Sorry to bust your bubble.
  • And last year or so we are were saying Windows Phone 8.1 will solve our problems. Before that, we were claiming Windows Phone 8, 7.5 Mango, Nodo...
  • Nah, that never ends, just like politics.
  • Windows is die hard. That must be a nagging puzzling headache for apple and google. Why, windows phone, WHY ARE U STILL ALIVE?!!!!!
  • They're just want to participate. You know, Windows is a OS either. It's not funny if they're not participate.
  • Its actually alive more than ever with 30 new OEM's now onboard..
  • Yeah. Two companies that control OVER 90% of the smartphone market are getting headaches over an OS that has been struggling to hit 4%. That makes sense.  Hate to break it to you but we here at Windows Central are more obssessed about Google and Apple than they are about us. 
  • They solved some problems, but unfortunately we got new ones instead
  • Windows 10 won't change shit. Time to face the reality. This "universal apps" thing won't make developers interested in developing for the platform. Because it's Windows. And windows phone. And Microsoft.
  • Finally, an intelligent man..amen...I been saying, and I quote "10 ain't gonna do dick, people are entrenched"....Now someone is gonna come along and say universal apps and all the desktops...No one at work uses those half ass whacked apps on 8.1. What's gonna change with 10? Dick, that's what.
  • No, no, you're wrong. Dicks are Snapchat's prerogative, Windows 10 cannot change what it doesn't have
  • I would be using Snapchat a lot if we had an app, as I did with 6snap. It's a big app to have missing. I've known people who were interested in getting a Lumia for me to mention there's no Snapchat and for that notion to completely go out of the window.
  • Then don't mention snapchat...problem solved...basic salesmanship....
  • What needs to happen is that Windows Phone users should unite, and flood the Twitter and Facebook pages of the developers.  Stop acting like we don't care about mainstream app developers apps being on our platform, because without the mainstream developers, then, why buy a Windows Phone besides Windows Phone 10 (don't get me wrong, I am excited for Windows Phone 10 development, but I also realize that the same excitement occurred for Windows Phone 7, 7.8, 8, and 8.1, so, it is hard for me to get that excited when the marketshare was projected for Windows Phone to be in 2nd place by 2015 from four years ago articles).  The survival of Windows Phone is in our hands, but we have got to stop pretending that we are not bothered whenever negative news regarding an app comes out.  The fact is, I am hurt, I am saddened, I am angered, basically all of the stages of grief, because I love my Windows Phone, but the mainstream app developers don't, as well as, the mass consensus of people buying phones (they like Android and Apple more).  Let's stop acting macho, and put together some kind of action to convince people to buy Windows Phone (yes, it is called SELLING 101 - overcoming objections, and persuade the consumer), because Android and Apple does the same thing (I repeat, "THE SURVIVAL OF WINDOWS PHONE IS IN OUR HANDS, NOT MICROSOFT").
  • https://www.change.org/p/snapchat-please-sign-this-petition-with-me-so-w...
  • Windows 10 is here! Yay.
  • Probably a good idea there is nothing good about that software!
  • It's used more for underage sexting than anything else. Thankfully one less thing to worry about my kids phone usage.