Saturday, February 09, 2008

Facebook disables Break Up app - the danger of gatekeepers

Faceit Apps - a developer of Facebook applications learnt the hard way today - Facebook has disabled their successful Break Up app with the following notice:

Facebook email:

To the developers of Break Up (app ID 15107295388),

You application has been disabled by Facebook because it is in violation of a policy prohibiting an application from notifying a user X that user Y has removed him as a friend unless both people currently use the application and have agreed to allow this notification. Your Facebook-side application data has been preserved, and should you modify your app to comply with policy, please indicate that in reply to this message and it will be reinstated with the user base it had before removal.


Facebook Platform Developer Operations & Support

Seems like Facebook wants to keep unfriending a discrete thing - which in general I would support. From a Marketing and Business point of view this is a reminder for all the developers out there that as long as they operate on different platforms they need to be very aware that the platform owner ultimately writes the rules. This has happened before (Myspace blocked Photobucket before buying them but I think this might be a first on Facebook.

Having worked in the mobile space for a while I'm acutely aware of this problem as each carrier (platform) constantly creates and changes its own rules - the new breed of application developers who now work on Myspace, Open Social, Tagged, Facebook etc should keep this in mind for the future.


My Personal DNA

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