Facebook took companies such as Yandex, Voxer and even Twitter (again) by surprise as they seemingly cut off any & all competition to their new Graph Search product.
Facebook seems to be on a data liberation in which it now chooses to freely keep data it once allowed use of through API calls. User profile data that was once publicly accessible to grab and index by developers has now been made impossible for such use and the motivating factor behind this move seems to be Facebook’s latest & greatest social app development, Graph Search.
Facebook has trillions of bits of information they’ve collected from users over many years now, but that information that was once freely available to developers to help Facebook build their site has now been cut off. In addition, any developer that attempts to go around the latest Facebook TOS (terms of service) guidelines for API development faces the possibility of being eliminated completely from Facebook altogether.
Voxer CEO Tom Katis told one news outlet that Facebook even already phoned them last week desiring to discuss “possible violations” of Facebooks TOS.
Facebook’s latest Graph Search feature which is scouring the Facebook network and piecing bits of information together in order to make coherent searches, seems to be the catalyst for a major Facebook war path. A war path that companies such Voxer, Yandex and Twitter found themselves immediately in the midst of since the release of Facebook Graph Search, as they scrambled around to figure out what was going on when their once functional Facebook apps all of a sudden stopped working.
Just as with Yandex last week, Vine (a Twitter video-sharing app) also found its ability to use Facebook’s API calls on the Facebook network revoked. The concept behind Vine using the FB API was to simplify the use of Vine. It simply allowed Vine users to find their Facebook friends who also used Vine, and add them, but Vine’s find FB friends is no more.
The latest Facebook competition lockout trend is making many wonder why Facebook is still even offering an API to developers if at anytime they can just block the developer’s creation. Putting in endless hours of development time for a possible shutdown on your app the next day is not what developers look for when they want to work with an open system. In fact, such a business practice is a deterrent to many developers, which may be bad news one day for Facebook. Some say Apple is no less guilty of having a once open service in iOS which invited free development, then later down the road, closed the doors.
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