Facebook blocks access to Instagram rival Vintage Camera

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is blocking Presselite's photo-sharing application Vintage Camera from accessing its social media platform, a move Presselite hints is tied to Facebook's 2012 acquisition of rival photo app Instagram.

Vintage Camera, introduced in late 2011 for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, offers consumers a variety of retro filters and social media sharing options. In an email to media members, Presselite co-founder Antoine Marcos states users have downloaded the app more than 8 million times, sharing anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000 photos per day via the Facebook platform.

Facebook halted Vintage Camera's access to its Photo Sharing on Facebook API on Wednesday, telling Presselite the decision was prompted by a "high amount of negative user feedback." Facebook developer admin screenshots supplied by Marcos indicate that less than 0.3 percent of all Vintage Camera photos shared by Facebook users have resulted in complaints: After Presselite appealed Facebook's decision, the social network replied, "We've checked out the circumstances of your app's restriction, and we found that your app received strong negative feedback from users and their friends. Unfortunately, we will not be able to restore your app's functionality."

Facebook confirmed its decision to block Vintage Camera. "While we provide an open platform, every application on Platform is required to meet our policies. We take both automated and manual steps to detect violations and ensure compliance," the firm said in a statement supplied to BBC News. "Pending on the violation, we give developers an opportunity to come into compliance via a warning system. In the case of this application, the application was not in compliance with our platform policies and had received three warnings prior to our systems taking action on the application."

Marcos said Facebook has not supplied "any details on why Vintage Camera has been restricted, and which part of Facebook policies our app is in violation," adding, "So Facebook seems to consider that 0.3 percent of negative feedback is 'strong?' Currently, Facebook does not provide any acceptable level of negative feedback, so Facebook is free to decide for each case… We hope [the Instagram] acquisition is not influencing this kind of restriction/access limitation for other photo applications."

Vintage Camera is not the first application to run afoul of Facebook restrictions: In recent weeks, Facebook has halted API access for Twitter's Vine video sharing app, social networking app Voxer and Russian search giant Yandex's Wonder.

Facebook's Platform Policies states, "You may not use Facebook Platform to export user data into a competing social network without our permission. Apps on Facebook may not integrate, link to, promote, distribute or redirect to any app on any other competing social network." Facebook has said it will enforce the policy on apps that "use its data to bootstrap growth but don't contribute anything."

For more:
- read this BBC News article
- read this Computerworld article

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