This week Facebook cut off both Twitter’s new photo app Vine and messaging app Voxer from Find Friends, which is Facebook’s API that lets you connect with Facebook friends on other apps. SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto explained why this was such a disabling move by Facebook.
“It’s probably the fastest way if you have a new app . . . connecting with the majority of where your friends are,” he said. “For most people, that’s Facebook. It’s a crippling shortcut to a lot of these new apps that are coming up.”
Casaretto speculated on Facebook’s motive for pulling the API plug from these apps. He defended Facebook’s desire to keep their social graph information to themselves, implying that it’s not fair that competitors should expect Facebook to just hand over all the user data they’ve gathered.
Casaretto indicated this could backfire on Facebook, in terms of developers and others who are building applications. He said that if they feel their apps may be blocked by Facebook, they could ultimately turn to Twitter or other social media to connect in with users. Casaretto feels this could be detrimental to new applications coming out if there’s not an open platform that developers have access to. He said, “From that side of the fence, it’s a big impairment.”
Casaretto compared Facebook’s cord cutting move to the chat app wars from the past, when AOL, MSN and Yahoo were all blocking each other. He said, “I think this is a natural reaction, an evolution, if you will.” Although Facebook may be on top for now, Casaretto said it’s not hard to predict there will be other social networks with a lot of clout, and Facebook will have to learn to work together with them, but it’s just not happening right now.
It’s obvious that the users are the victims who lose in these social media wars. Casaretto recommends that they let their voices be heard if this is a feature they really want, and maybe Facebook will finally start listening. See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and John Casaretto on the Morning NewsDesk Show.