Facebook blocks MessageMe from accessing Find Friends data
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has halted fledgling chat application MessageMe's access to its social graph, reportedly due to a violation of its platform restrictions.
MessageMe, introduced for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android earlier this month, eschews conventional operator SMS services to enable users to exchange free one-on-one or group messages via Wi-Fi, 3G, EDGE and LTE networks. MessageMe integrated with Facebook to allow users to add contacts and share photos, but TechCrunch reports Facebook cut off the app's access to its Find Friends functionality Friday; MessageMe CEO Arjun Sethi told Mashable the startup is "currently working to make sure our users don't encounter any errors in the application when using it," and Facebook has not responded to requests for comment.
Facebook's decision recalls its earlier move to cut off messaging app Voxer, which offers functionality similar to MessageMe. In January, Voxer CEO Tom Katis told TechCrunch that Facebook considers Voxer a "competitive social network" and that the app ran afoul of Facebook's Platform Policies, which state "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."
Following its decision to block Voxer, Facebook told TechCrunch it will enforce the policy on apps that "use its data to bootstrap growth but don't contribute anything." A spokesperson explained that apps that share content like photos or Open Graph stories with Facebook can continue to access Find Friends data, with only messaging apps that don't share content qualifying as competitors. Both MessageMe and Voxer compete directly with Facebook's standalone Messenger app, which supports over-the-top messaging as well as free VoIP calling.
MessageMe and Voxer are not the only mobile apps to run afoul of Facebook rules and regulations: In recent weeks, Facebook has halted API access for Twitter's Vine video sharing app, Russian search giant Yandex's Wonder and photo sharing app Vintage Camera.
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