Facebook has now clarified why it blocked Twitter's new video-sharing app Vine, suggesting on its developer blog Friday afternoon that Facebook didn't think much of Vine's integration — or lack thereof — with the social network. Basically, Twitter's pseudo GIF-maker thing connected with Facebook, but only so you could "find Friends" — presumably because Twitter wants people to use the app on Twitter. But for the privilege of its people, Facebook wants apps to give back to the network.
Without mentioning Twitter or Vine explicitly, Facebook's Justin Osofsky explained in the blog post that some apps "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." How's that for passive aggression?
Osofsky points developers to a policy page updated today, which reflects that sentiment by stating:
Reciprocity and Replicating core functionality: (a) Reciprocity: Facebook Platform enables developers to build personalized, social experiences via the Graph API and related APIs. If you use any Facebook APIs to build personalized or social experiences, you must also enable people to easily share their experiences back with people on Facebook. (b) Replicating core functionality: 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.
In short, if apps want access to Facebook's massive user base of 1 billion-plus friends, they better bring people back to Facebook. And the war raged on.