Snapchat will now begin warning users when it detects they are using third party apps, the company’s Tuesday blog post reads.
“Starting today, we will notify Snapchatters when we have detected that they may be using third-party apps and we’ll ask those Snapchatters to change their password and stop using unauthorized apps,” the company wrote.
Ever since an October attack made 13 GB of thousands of Snapchat user photos public, the company has been doing damage control, blaming its users for downloading third-party tools and programs to integrate with Snapchat.
Usually, third-party programs are perfectly secure when it comes to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more which offer a public API for developers who want to make tools that integrate with a network. However, Snapchat’s API isn’t available, developers are forced to use a less secure workaround of accessing user credentials. That’s what happened with SnapSaved, the third party site hacked in October’s photo leak.
Snapchat is valued at $10 billion, with its 24-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel paying himself a $10 million salary, but the company said it cannot afford to make and maintain a trustworthy API or developer program available. Users will simply have to learn that even if third-party applications are safe most of the time, the Snapchat ecosystem is not.
Snapchat’s alternate solution is to warn users if they are using third party programs, tell them to stop, and prompt them to change their password. It’s certainly a cheap solution to the problem, but not one that benefits the user.