May 15, 2008
Charlie Cheever from Facebook has hurled first real bomb in closely observed attempts by social networking platforms to "open up". Data portability promise got first reality check of ToS violation.
Facebook spent couple of days brainstorming on Google's "grand design" and came to conclusion that it's better to block them right away. So no Google FriendConnect for Facebook developers.
In the past, when we found applications passing user data to another party (for instance, to ad networks for the purpose of targeting), we suspended those applications and worked with those developers to ensure they respect user privacy. Now that Google has launched Friend Connect, we’ve had a chance to evaluate the technology. We’ve found that it redistributes user information from Facebook to other developers without users’ knowledge, which doesn’t respect the privacy standards our users have come to expect and is a violation of our Terms of Service. Just as we’ve been forced to do for other applications that redistribute data in a way users might not expect or understand, we’ve had to suspend Friend Connect’s access to Facebook user information until it comes into compliance. We’ve reached out to Google several times about this issue, and hope to work with them to enable users to share their data exactly when and where they choose.
This is NOT a good news for Facebook developers as well as for other vendors who have interest in cross network applications.
I have been following recent announcements in this context. Very soon all these major platforms need to stop and think about how Twitter platform has emerged right under their nose and enabling next generation applications (For example – TwisterNow, Summize, and MessageDance) . It's time for these platform vendors to read Twitter tea leaves (or tweets! ). That's where we are going to see truly open platform in action.