Facebook Explains Why Vine Can’t Access Friend Information


Twitter Vine App

A controversy erupted this week when Facebook cut off API support for Twitter’s new Vine video application. Facebook specifically cut off the ability for Vine to look for a users friends by connecting their Facebook account.

While Facebook did not mention Twitter or Vine by name, the company issues the following statement on its Developer Blog:

For a much smaller number of apps that are using Facebook to either replicate our functionality or bootstrap their growth in a way that creates little value for people on Facebook, such as not providing users an easy way to share back to Facebook, we’ve had policies against this that we are further clarifying today (see I.10).

Here is the wording for section I.10:

Reciprocity and Replicating core functionality: (a) Reciprocity: Facebook Platform enables developers to build personalized, social experiences via the Graph API and related APIs. If you use any Facebook APIs to build personalized or social experiences, you must also enable people to easily share their experiences back with people on Facebook. (b) Replicating core functionality: You may not use Facebook Platform to promote, or to export user data to, a product or service that replicates a core Facebook product or service without our permission.

Essentially if your apps main goal is to completely block Facebook from interaction or copy a product or upcoming you can’t use the Facebook API.

Seeing as Twitter is a competitor to the Facebook platform it makes sense that Twitter would not want to help Facebook’s own data growth. At the same time it makes sense that Facebook doesn’t want its data being accessed with no benefit to the network.

Vine does allowing sharing back to Facebook but it appears the social platform believes Vine may be “replicating a core Facebook product or service.”


James Kosur

James Kosur has worked in the new media space for the last 10 years, helping many publications build their audiences to millions of monthly readers. He currently serves as the Director of Business Development at Business2Community.com and the CEO of Aven Enterprises LLC.

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