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Facebook To App Developers: Good Idea, Now Stop Using Our API

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-ideas dept.

Facebook 158

An anonymous reader writes "In what seems to be a recurring theme with Facebook as the social networking giant adds features, competing apps that use Facebook integration risk being cut off due to the terms of service surrounding the API. For example, 'Voxer CEO Tom Katis told AllThingsD that the company got an email on Thursday saying that Facebook wanted to hold a phone call to discuss possible violations of a section of the company’s terms of service. The section in question centers around the use of Facebook’s social graph by competing social networks.' Similarly, 'Within hours of Twitter launching its Vine video-sharing application on Thursday, Facebook has cut off access to Vine’s "find people" feature, which used to let Vine users find their Facebook friends using the Vine application.' You have to ask yourself: is it really worth developing an app that integrates with, or worse runs completely on Facebook's platform?"

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158 comments

What's the point? (5, Interesting)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year ago | (#42730815)

Why does Facebook even offer an API to developers if any time an app becomes popular they block them?

Re:What's the point? (5, Funny)

radiumsoup (741987) | about a year ago | (#42730851)

aaaaand... we're done in one.

Walled Garden (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#42733379)

If people still asking why ... ask them to look at North Korea.

Facebook is a walled garden, and the "walled" part of a walled garden is just that, WALLED.

Which means, FB can do whatever it likes in its domain, just like the North Korean government can do whatever it likes within the sovereignty of North Korea.

They are accountable to nobody, and they do not have to answer to anything.

Re:What's the point? (5, Informative)

trparky (846769) | about a year ago | (#42730859)

You could say the same thing about Apple. There were many features that independent app developers made that later were killed off and made a part of iOS.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Arrogant Monkey (2818767) | about a year ago | (#42731129)

Ditto with Microsoft. and I know folks who did the same thing with utilities for some of IBM's app servers. It's the risk you take in trying to capitalize on someone else's market share (Facebook population, Apple captive app audience, Microsoft flaws..er..gaps).

Re:What's the point? (1)

I_am_Jack (1116205) | about a year ago | (#42731897)

I think it's the fundamental flaw in the model which has been built over time with start-ups, and most especially with internet start-ups, that a particular platform will practically give hand-jobs to developers to take their API and do something with it, which help grows the platform, and allows the developers to grow as well. Then as soon as the platform has some level of maturity, the API is re-written, limiting its use, which then strangles the small dev start up which grew as a result of the API.

It's a dance with the devil to try to build your success on the kindness of others, but at the same time, remembering Wheaton's First Rule of Human Interaction ("Don't be a dick") as well as the fact that the success of one's platform is correlated to the number of people who made your platform more fun because of their involvement would be a good thing.

Re:What's the point? (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | about a year ago | (#42731149)

Really? Name some that where "killed off" Most features that the indies developed where bought out by Apple either in concept or with their staff being hired at Apple

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple [wikipedia.org]

Or do you mean the BS lip flapping over "Widgets" still when the concept was clearly part of the early builds of the Apple OS but not in the way it became with OS X.

Re:What's the point? (2)

greg1104 (461138) | about a year ago | (#42731579)

There are lists of rendered obsolete apps for Lion [nytimes.com], Mountain Lion [cultofmac.com], and IOS6 [mashable.com] in a few minutes of searching. I'm most amused by how Instapaper started on the iPhone, became a widely lauded app, moved to Android, and then the core idea was integrated into IOS6 as Safari's Offline Reading feature. I suspect it's only the Android users who are keeping the company viable now.

Re:What's the point? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731875)

Paid app on Android making money? LOL, you're an idiot.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731789)

I'm sorry, you are barred from using any argument about 'clearly part of the early builds of the Apple OS' when Apple claims to have invented rounded corners and mobile phone design. Apple ripped off as many people as Microsoft has, or IBM has, or anyone else has.

Shit, you just basically have to NTP it. Just wait until the technology is so pervasive there's no recourse...then sue. Put a hole in RIM when that happened that still hasn't stopped bleeding.

Re:What's the point? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#42732151)

WindowShadeX
http://www.unsanity.com/haxies/wsx [unsanity.com]

Some of us power users _like_ having control over the bloated window title and dislike its lack of useful functionality such as the inability to "roll up" -- something that EVERY window manager should include out-of-the-box; thankfully some of the *nix Window Managers actually respect power users.

I've given up on Microsoft actually having a clue about useful GUI design after their Metrosexual UI; Apple is slowly heading that way by hiding essential UI elements such as scroll bar arrows. The fact that both companies still group the Close, Minimize, and Maximize buttons together demonstrates they just don't understand UI design to any significant level -- they would rather keep "dumbing down" the UI year after year instead of giving choices to power users and teaching people how to maximize their workflow process. i.e. It took Microsoft how many years to understand the importance of Spatial Positioning of icons on the Taskbar by allowing them to re-arrange running apps??

Re:What's the point? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#42732387)

Haxies? Really? They're not built with public APIs, and they inject arbitrary code into running applications. And you wonder why they break regularly?

similar complain with microsoft (2)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#42731929)

There were more efficient functions in the deep code which werent exposed to the outside world. Internal developers could write more efficient applications than 3rd party.

Limiting the scope of an external API is often done to improve testing and documentation. Too wide an interface is harder to support.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Joe Behymer (2827761) | about a year ago | (#42730907)

Why does $company offer $thing_that_makes_money?

Re:What's the point? (4, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#42731005)

What the heck is the Facebook F doing next to your name?

Did you sign into slashdot with your facebook account?

How can I prevent it from happening to me? Is there a vaccine, or tonic I can take?

Re:What's the point? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731099)

Try AC's Patent Drop. It cures female hysteria, Facebook integration, and rectifies the humours.

Re:What's the point? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#42731175)

lol, it makes it seem like they are representing Facebook.

Which is hilarious in this context.

Re:What's the point? (1)

SC (2827793) | about a year ago | (#42731463)

How can I prevent it from happening to me? Is there a vaccine, or tonic I can take?

Well.. maybe. Or Maybe not. But Definitely not sort of.

Re:What's the point? (2)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#42731709)

Well, what I do is add the folowing to my hosts file and point it to 127.0.0.1
www.facebook.com
facebook.com
login.facebook.com
www.login.facebook.com
static.ak.connect.facebook.com
www.static.ak.connect.facebook.com
ads.ak.facebook.com
creative.ak.facebook.com
fb.com

Re:What's the point? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731905)

APK, is that you?

Re:What's the point? (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#42732087)

Your list is woefully incomplete, starting with the lack of fbcdn. Also, it's far better to do this per domain rather than individual hosts, although I don't know of a way that doesn't involve setting up your own DNS server -- something which most people won't do. Of course, there's Adblock and friends, but against a plague as nasty as Facebook, you need multiple layers of protection.

Re:What's the point? (2)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about a year ago | (#42732217)

Ah... I was wondering why some new users had these large blanks to the right of their names. Turns out NoScript is hiding the FB logo that should be there.

Thanks for solving this mystery. :)

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42733327)

Ah... I was wondering why some new users

No, its just two of them in this thread - both with a posting history of one post. Its a new type of trolling that slashdot has opened up.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42730915)

Then they can see what becomes popular, and either buy that company, or steal the idea.
Great business plan!

Re:What's the point? (1)

trparky (846769) | about a year ago | (#42730945)

Apple did this multiple times. Just goes to show you... Apple doesn't innovate, they buy.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731051)

Because Google doesn't? LOL. Almost every product that is a success at Google came about via acquisition such as Google Maps, Android, Google Earth, Youtube, Picasa, Blogger, AdSense/AdWords, Google Docs, etc. The list goes on.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731195)

Because Google doesn't? LOL. Almost every product that is a success at Google came about via acquisition such as Google Maps, Android, Google Earth, Youtube, Picasa, Blogger, AdSense/AdWords, Google Docs, etc. The list goes on.

I don't have the knowledge to speak about whether your list is valid or not, but I'll say this: if all google does is buy things, why is it that the things google buys are so much more refined and functional than the products that their competitors buy?

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42733245)

LOL and their DejaNews acquisition is far worse as Google Groups than when DejaNews screwed it up to be Deja.com - Before you buy.

Re:What's the point? (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year ago | (#42731513)

Who did they buy the iPad from? Just curious.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731747)

Who did they buy the iPad from?

Fingerworks. All the touch tech, gesture ideas, and related patents came from Fingerworks. Fingerworks made awesome multi-touch, zero-force keyboards and other devices. They were great for people with RSI. Apple killed all of Fingerworks' products as soon as they bought the company.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FingerWorks

We'd be doing complete hand gestures on our keyboards rather than reaching to our screens if Fingerworks survived. .

Re:What's the point? (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year ago | (#42731945)

I remember reading something about this in a book titled "Undocumented DOS" a couple decades or so ago. I don't know if I'm paraphrasing or verbatim quoting, but it was essentially: "Your product may be a DLL in the next version of Windows."

Re:What's the point? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#42730939)

So someone else can take all the risk of testing out a new idea, while Facebook gets to reap all the rewards when they integrate it later.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731003)

You mean, why making your platform palatable for a plethora of 3rd parties devs which drive traffic to your site, double as think tanks, and then start eating their own pie with your offers which don't need to compete as you have a stronghold on the API usage? yes i wonder that myself.

Re:What's the point? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42731169)

Why does Facebook even offer an API to developers if any time an app becomes popular they block them?

If you can get suckers to develop for a platform that you can shove them off to drown at any time, it ensures that you can buy their assets at firesale prices and face minimal challenges integrating them into your service, since they are already API compatible!

Perfectly sensible on Facebook's part, it's the sanity of the people who use the API that you have to worry about...

"We're going to be open! Help us grow!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731523)

followed by "We're big now, and must protect what WE have made".
followed by "Hey wait, come back! We can be a little more open!"
followed by the NextBigThing (they're open!)

Re:What's the point? (-1, Flamebait)

yfrdtyid (2827823) | about a year ago | (#42732367)

http://www.cloud65.com/ [cloud65.com] If you think Patricia`s story is inconceivable..., 4 weaks-ago father in law also earned $8254 workin fourteen hours a week from there apartment and they're best friend's step-sister`s neighbour has been doing this for 7-months and made more than $8254 in there spare time at their pc. follow the guidelines available at this link,

Re:What's the point? (1)

Luthair (847766) | about a year ago | (#42732897)

Except that doesn't appear to be the case, both applications are obviously using the api for something strictly prohibited. Find some sympathetic users that have been cut off for that reason then come make the claim

It may not be in the headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42730835)

But the answer to the question is still "no."

Stupid question... (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about a year ago | (#42730845)

You have to ask yourself: is it really worth developing an app that integrates with, or worse runs completely on Facebook's platform?"

If Facebook pays me: Sure.

Re:Stupid question... (1)

atrimtab (247656) | about a year ago | (#42731773)

You have to ask yourself: is it really worth developing an app that integrates with, or worse runs completely on Facebook's platform?"

If Facebook pays me: Sure.

They better be paying you incrementally for each user forever for all the data they collect from users that use your app or service... otherwise, you'd be a fool to base *anything* "on top of" the Facebook ecosystem.

I am constantly amazed that there are so many services that build upon Google, Apple or Facebook web authentication systems. It's just plain stupid for anyone to do that unless they are Google, Apple or Facebook as those services can eliminate your access to your customers ANY TIME they choose without you having any say in the matter.

And of the 3, Facebook is the worst, since by forcing users to have a Facebook account to use your service you are broadcasting how little you care about their ability to control any of their privacy given that tracking that you enable FB to perform against those users all over the net and FBs consistent history of altering their user terms to the detriment of their users.

If I see a service that REQUIRES a Facebook account, I will not use it whether it is free, paid or otherwise. And I am far from alone. Any developer that forces FB authentication in their apps or services is likely giving up at least 1/3rd of potential customer/users.

Um, DUH? (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#42730871)

Why would you ever design a product that's completely and utterly dependent on a service provided by someone else, especially someone else who you view as a competitor or who may down the road view you as a competitor, without an iron-clad, air-tight contract guaranteeing exactly what services they'll provide you and providing scorched-earth-level penalties for their failure to provide service according to the agreed-upon terms? Anything less is pretty much a guarantee that they'll pull the rug out from under you as soon as they think it'll be to their advantage. I'm not a business type or some super startup guru, just a lowly techie, but even I can figure that one out. Gleh, what do they teach in school these days? That the Universe is all rainbows and unicorns and that everybody plays nice all the time?

Re:Um, DUH? (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42731007)

The thing is, there was never a need for Voxer or Vine to tie into facebook in the first place. Facebook provides nothing to either app.
I've seen this a sort of mentality a hundred times on apps in the Android Play store. Diet apps, health apps, personal finance apps, all tying into Facebook, which is arguably the last place you want apps sharing private information.

These developers just arbitrarily toss that crap in to be part of the in-crowd.

Re:Um, DUH? (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#42731127)

The idea was that you would go into Vine, Vine would search your facebook profile for friends of yours who were also using Vine and add them to Vine's friend list for you. That is providing real functionality. Now you have to manually search for and enter each of your friends one by one. So no, they aren't just jumping on the bandwagon, they are using the information from the Facebook API in a way that is so incredibly obvious that the fact that it is blocked makes you wonder what the hell the API was supposed to be fore in the first place.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42731191)

Except that nobody wants to exchange vine recordings with all their "friends" on facebook, most of which most people hardly know.

People want to send Vine movies to a FEW people, who you ALREADY have in your phone's contacts and address book. Nobody wants to receive vine movies from just anyone.

There is no value in that linkage.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731325)

There is no value in that linkage.

But it's social. And everything's got to be social until the next big fad comes along.

Re:Um, DUH? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731799)

Demented and sad, but social.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731571)

No, I would definitely like to add a select group of my Facebook friends to my Vine list, certainly not all of them, but probably about 20. Why should I have to do it one by one.

By the way I don't like Facebook, but these friends do. Thats the power of a network, some people are there because they have to be, not because they want to be. Just like I don't like the telephone network, I have to use the phones that connect to my friends. Sadly its true until someone figures how to get my friends off of Facebook and onto something a bit more open and less excrable.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42731835)

Vines is a Twitter service. Surely you are following these friends on twitter already, right?

Re:Um, DUH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42732027)

Vines is a Twitter service. Surely you are following these friends on twitter already, right?

Not me, my friends can write full sentences and I'd unfriend them if they wrote like people do on Twitter.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

Changa_MC (827317) | about a year ago | (#42732991)

I'm not friends with anyone on facebook I don't know and like in real face-to-face situations.
If your experience is different, that's your choice.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

Frojack123 (2606639) | about a year ago | (#42733111)

I've never had a facebook account, (and look with deep suspicion at anyone who has), but I personally know and employ people who have hundreds and perhaps thousands of "friends" who they barely knew, but couldn't deny "friending" just to be polite.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42733141)

I had a facebook account for 15 minutes years back when it started. I quickly decided it was not for me.

But I too know people with hundreds of friends, some of which they have no recollection of ever meeting.

Migrating Facebook users to other services (1)

erice (13380) | about a year ago | (#42732235)

The idea was that you would go into Vine, Vine would search your facebook profile for friends of yours who were also using Vine and add them to Vine's friend list for you. That is providing real functionality. Now you have to manually search for and enter each of your friends one by one. So no, they aren't just jumping on the bandwagon, they are using the information from the Facebook API in a way that is so incredibly obvious that the fact that it is blocked makes you wonder what the hell the API was supposed to be fore in the first place.

From Facebook's perspective, the API is supposed to make being on Facebook more valuable and, therefore, help to retain users. Facebook's main asset is isn't user base. Facebook has the users, other sites don't and Facebook would like to keep it that way. Marketing to those users is how Facebook makes its money.

What you are describing is a migration tool. Once your Facebook friends have been moved to your Vine friends list, Vine doesn't need Facebook anymore and will be competing for those user's attention. I'm pretty sure this is not what Facebook Corporate had in mind.

When a corporation offers you a API, you need to keep in mind that they are doing it for themselves, not for you. If what you do with the API does not advance the business of the corporation, don't be surprised if they cut you off.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

Oakey (311319) | about a year ago | (#42732549)

The irony of this being that back in the day Facebook would ask to rifle through your Hotmail (and probably others) contacts to add them on Facebook!

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#42731055)

If you don't have a SLA and you aren't paying for it - probably isn't the best idea to build your entire business model around it.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42731299)

Why would you ever design a product that's completely and utterly dependent on a service provided by someone else

Because that's where the users are. Facebook has, what, a billion users? If you can shoehorn into some of those, there's opportunity.

If they go it alone, they'd have to build up all of those users on their own. They're just chasing the money.

I don't disagree that they run the risk of being screwed by Facebook, but that's hardly new in the tech industry -- Microsoft has taken other products and built them into the OS for years, and the frequently do the same to their partners, team up until they can steal your lunch.

Re:Um, DUH? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731519)

Listen, I'm an MBA grad and I know exactly what they did wrong. They didn't put up enough pictures of rhinos pooping. Everyone knows rhinos are really unicorns.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#42731883)

Why would you ever design a product that's completely and utterly dependent on a service provided by someone else, especially someone else who you view as a competitor or who may down the road view you as a competitor, without an iron-clad, air-tight contract guaranteeing exactly what services they'll provide you and providing scorched-earth-level penalties for their failure to provide service according to the agreed-upon terms?

Probably because they assume that "on down the road" will be at least a few months, and companies don't seem to be thinking more than a few months ahead. Maybe that's just me, because I still can't see how Twitter makes any sense from a business standpoint. I can't believe they're still going. Evidently they're making money hand over fist. Obviously common sense is somehow the enemy of money when it comes to businesses that do things online with social crap.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

devitto (230479) | about a year ago | (#42731899)

Instagram.

Help the gorilla, but before they squish you, sell your technology (and preferably patents).

Simple: Delusion (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#42732193)

Many many people, and therefor companies, are under the delusion that business is fair. Facebook would never do them wrong, hell they gave me an API right? They ignore what business practices are at the level of Facebook. It's parasitic at worst, thuggery most of the time, and the occasional tip to the waiter when things are just right.

It's really really hard to explain this to people that are brought up without the ability to see what is actually happening, but rather rely on voices to tell them what they should do.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#42732867)

Why would you ever design a product that's completely and utterly dependent on a service provided by someone else...?

And why do people ask rhetorical questions without at least considering the most obvious answer?

Because there is only one facebook. One ebay. One Microsoft Windows. People don't dance with the devil because they're stupid, they do it because he owns the dance hall and it's either that or sit out in the cold. Even if you are snuffed out in the end, you may still have had more success ($) than if you abstained, and implemented on GNU Hurd instead because it's safer.

Re:Um, DUH? (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#42733125)

But am I getting more success? I put a lot of time and effort and money into creating the product and setting up the business. And just when I'm beginning to see a return on that investment, that's when I'm most likely to get cut off. So I'm now out all that investment, and while I may have recouped some of it I'm probably looking at a dead loss of at least 50% of my investment. I would've been better off taking the money and putting it in a 12-month CD.

If the devil owns the dance hall and I know he's going to throw me out in the cold the moment I get a girl to dance with me, why should I even bother? I'll end up out in the cold either way, and the time I don't waste dealing with the devil I can spend talking to the girls who're tired of dealing with the lounge-lizard dance-hall owner who won't let 'em so much as look at anyone else without him cutting in.

Re:Um, DUH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42732989)

It's the same mentality that drives the purchase of lottery tickets. It's less work, and you *might* end up getting bought out. So they hope.

Boo hoo (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#42730873)

Most anyone running a business should know to diversify their product offering. Relying on a single platform for Your product is dooming yourself to failure. Relying on a single API, which you don't control, to run your business, is an even bigger mistake.

Developers to Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42730923)

"Kindly fuck off. Love and Kisses."

Re:Developers to Facebook (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731073)

Oh open your mouth to suck my c0ck instead of b1tching. Thank you.
Mark

The wise man built his house upon the rock... (1)

Marcion (876801) | about a year ago | (#42730991)

In prison, "work" is the best possible approximation of real work but it is not real work with real responsibilities or control, and there is not real pay and conditions.

Making an "application" based on a digital prison is an approximation of a real app but based on a false foundation. There is no real control or security over the platform.

of course not (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42730995)

Who do they think they are, Apple?

Yes. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#42731167)

You have to ask yourself: is it really worth developing an app that integrates with, or worse runs completely on Facebook's platform?

Everybody's on Facebook, so it's much easier for your users to find their friends if your app is integrated with Facebook.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731915)

No, it just makes it easier to add all those people you don't really know or care about.

You deal with friends face to face, everyone else is an acquaintance.

Facbook is just an ordinary dope pusher (1)

futhermocker (2667575) | about a year ago | (#42731171)

First they get you hooked, then they cut you off and extort you. Social media, nothnx, I have a actual life.

Re:Facbook is just an ordinary dope pusher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731731)

First they get you hooked, then they cut you off and extort you. Social media, nothnx, I have a actual life.

While I have no love for Facebook at all, I don't understand the "I don't use social media because I have an actual life" thing that people around here love to rant about. You know you can use social media AND STILL HAVE REAL FRIENDS, right? You know using Twitter doesn't mean that you don't enjoy going out with real people, ignoring your phone, and enjoying the company of those around you?

Remember "the right tool for the right job"? Social media is great for seeing a picture of my old college-roommate's new baby. Real life is great for having a personal conversation with my current close friends. Social media is fun to use as a break during the day to see what my friends have learned at their jobs today. Real life is great for holding my kids on my lap and reading to them. Just like in software, use the right "tool" for the right job. Choosing to not use Social Media doesn't validate your "actual life" in some way.

The Question (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | about a year ago | (#42731361)

You have to ask yourself: is it really worth developing an app that integrates with, or worse runs completely on Facebook's platform?

No, you don't. The answer should be obvious. It's not worth it.

Really need an API? (1)

Dwedit (232252) | about a year ago | (#42731489)

I don't think Facebook would be able to block automatic loading of pages (using the user's current cookies) followed by scraping. An API just makes it much easier to get the data, but you can still scrape whatever they won't let you use.

Re:Really need an API? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731783)

They could change the underlying page structure every day and keep the visuals almost exactly the same.

Re:Really need an API? (1)

atrimtab (247656) | about a year ago | (#42731871)

Yes, you want an Open API or access to data without encumbrance via a standard interface. Preferably, enforced by a contract and SLA.

We've already played the "scraping game" for decades. If you want to always be chasing the last change made by the target you are scraping, while also handling all your user complaints because your app just broke... again for the 3rd time this week... then go ahead and scrape.

And please come back and tell us how long it took you to give up.

Possible antitrust issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42731547)

I'm not familiar with the US antitrust law, but isn't there a possible violation?

Hmmm (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about a year ago | (#42731691)

It's really handy for a social network to have an API for login purposes alone. I have a site that sees quite a bit of traffic and the "Log in with [Social Network]" feature is useful for casual users. Facebook has always been a pain in the ass with their API. They make unannounced changes every so often that break login functionality. Twitter's API on the other hand, has always worked just fine.

poor design by FB? (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#42731887)

If their API (which I have not seen) lets see more than one in-link or out-link deep, then a crawler could traverse much of the total FB friend network. Their terms of service appear to prohibit crawling. They ASK the app just operate on the user and immediate friends at hand.

biznat3h (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42732269)

40,000 wor4stations^ FILED COUNTERSUIT, As one of the Discussion I'm mistake of electing Again. There are to this. For To its laid-back you can. No,

Re:biznat3h (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#42732439)

I know Facebook told you to stop using their API, but you really are taking it hard with all that LSD usage huh.

Anti-trust anyone? (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year ago | (#42732657)

I know that there's this other social networking site called Google +, but hasn't FB already achieved a mass worthy of the attention of anti-trust regulators? This is the sort of action that got Microsoft and lately Google into trouble. Or does one need to pass a certain threshold of dominance to qualify as an evil monopoly?

Integrating is not the same as Data Mining (1)

detain (687995) | about a year ago | (#42733377)

Facebook Integration is intended to add to new things to facebook, or add some features to your sites from facebook such as authentication, adding like/comment type functionality, etc. I don't believe they ever wanted people to utilize the API to display facebook content on other sites or data mine the information just to provide an alternative interface to the same content. Facebook integration is great, it does all kinds of things and they have been pretty good with their API so far. A few people went too far and are rightfully being stopped. Do not make a big deal of this or they are likely to make changes to the actual API, instead of stopping the few people abusing the current one. Again , stop making a big deal out of this before you force Facebook to remove features from the API until nobody can abuse it (and at the same time making it a useless API for anything more than basic features)
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