Facebook has updated its policies for third-party
application developers, which now cover the case where
Twitter's new Vine video-sharing app
is unable to access Facebook's friend-finder tool.
Facebook's Justin Osofsky, director of platform
partnerships and operations, said the "clarifications"
were published after the site received questions about its
policies over the past few days.
"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
," Osofsky wrote in a
The changes explain why Facebook decided to block the app,
a move that sparked a wave of criticism this week.
Twitter launched Vine on Thursday, which includes a tool
that allows users to search for their Facebook friends and
add them to their Vine network. Vine also lets users
automatically share the videos they create with the app
with their Facebook friends. However, Facebook
friend-search tool had been disabled. Vine users get an
error message when they try to perform the search.
One of the amended sections of FAcebook's platform
policies reads: "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." The policies don't say what, exactly,
constitutes a "core" Facebook product.
The new policies say developers can build their own social
network via Facebook's API, but only if the app allows
users to share their experiences back with Facebook users.
They also say that if Facebook disables an app, the
developer of the app must delete all the user information
it collected through Facebook's API, unless it is basic
account information or it receives consent from the user
to retain it.