Despite Assurances Shuts Down Their API After Being Bought By Facebook

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When Facebook purchased Instagram there was more than a little talk that the move was simply to lock out the competition and prevent someone like Microsoft or Google from getting their hands on the technology behind it. This appeared to be supported as Facebook then went out and released their own camera app that mimicked the features of Instagram. Now Facebook is at it again, this time with the facial recognition company that Facebook just picked up.

Despite a statement from on June 18 saying “Now, lots of developers use technology to power various apps and make wonderful products. We love you guys, and the plan is to continue to support our developer community. If there are new developments you can expect to hear from us here, on the developer blog, and through our developer newsletter.”

This would seem to indicate that would stay open to third party developers and that they were going to continue to support them. Now, it looks like Zuckerberg is at it again. As of this morning has shut off their API and even pulled their own Klik app from Apple’s App Store. This has annoyed a considerable amount of developers that were using the API and many have called for a boycott of Facebook (although there is little chance of that happening).

It does illustrate a very anti-competitive and almost anti-consumer streak in Facebook’s corporate personality. In an effort to ward off even more bad press and hurt feelings has hinted that the APIs might return under the banner of the Facebook developer network. We have a feeling that IF this happens it will be a while before we see it and then there will be limitations on the API’s use. What Facebook has done here is push developers to find a new API to use in their projects and products while making themselves look very bad to both the development community and to the people that use their services.

If Facebook continues to move down this path they may end up going the way of MySpace as people will eventually leave when they are pushed around too much and forced to accept things that they do not want (like a change in email). Right now Facebook has been able to walk that fine line with their PR teams working overtime to calm public annoyance, but as they continue to lock things down and then force them on their subscribers that will begin to fail…

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