Friday, November 05, 2010

Did You Hear the One About FaceBook's API, Funny!

Talk about a punch line for a joke! The answer FaceBook now wants us to accept for why Google and other services can't access their API so users can download contact information and other items that they might want to sync and share is hilarious. It's FaceBook's contention that it's "too hard" to allow their API to sync information with Google and other services. So let me think about this for a minute.... Hummm... FaceBook, The same FaceBook, that allowed every game and app that had access to their API to download not only a users information but the information about every contact that user had along with the name and nature of every FaceBook app they used now can't make it possible for Google and other services to even get a friends list to sync. Come on Mark, I mean Mr. Zuckerberg, you're telling me that you can't find a way to allow information to be shared or synced by a user with ANY other service but that you can't stop and didn't know that EVERY single app using your service had access to everything about a user they could possibly want and all without either the users or your knowledge or permission. Sounds like you need to fire that bunch of programmers you have now and hire those boys that work for the app companies. Now there are some programmers! But seriously Mr. Zuckerberg, you can’t possibly believe that anyone who thinks about this can understand how it can be both ways. On the one hand your API leaks like a sieve and every program that has accesses too provide games, polls, astrology readings, etc. can capture any and all of the users (and their friends) information that they want. And they can transmit it to anyone anywhere in the world they want. But your programmers can’t provide an interface to this same API that allows a user to sync their information to another service of their choice. That is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard … ROFLAO… sorry lost it there for a minute. Anyway look let’s just leave it like this Mr. Zuckerberg. Quit trying to put a spin on it and admit that FaceBook doesn’t share information with anyone who doesn’t pay for it in some way. And FaceBook is only interested in promoting FaceBook and has no intention of ever sharing anything with anyone that could be even remotely seen as a competitor. I can live with that position and seemingly so can most of your users as they have kept their accounts through all of your security snafus. But what I am getting tired of and can’t live with is being treated like an idiot… that Mr. Zuckerberg I am not.

Amplify’d from

Google vs. Facebook in API scrum: Why can't we all just be reciprocal?

Google tweaked its terms of service for its contacts application programming interface and raised a bit of a ruckus. Turns out Google will only enable contact data to be exported if the party on the other end is reciprocal.

In its terms of service
, Google notes:

5.8. Google supports data portability. By accessing Content through the Contacts Data API or Portable Contacts API for use in your service or application, you are agreeing to enable your users to export their contacts data to other services or applications of their choice in a way that’s substantially as fast and easy as exporting such data from Google Contacts, subject to applicable laws.

That tweak is a dig at Facebook, which isn’t reciprocal to Google. In a statement to TechCrunch, Google said that Facebook is a data dead end. So Google changed its rules. Google won’t allow Web sites to automatically import contact data unless the other site allows a similar export. The key word is “automatically.” You can still download contact data to a file that in theory could be added to Facebook.

Google is going to take some heat, but the move does send a message. Facebook argues that exporting data is difficult when it comes to the social graph. In the end, the API battle is really over control. The social graph goes through Facebook and Google wants better access to it—so it can use its search to craft a social networking hook.

Add it up and users are in a contact data mix-up between Google and Facebook. In reality, the API battle may just be symbolic. You can still import contact data from Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, two massive email services that happen to be partners (Yahoo) or investors in Facebook (Microsoft). But rest assured data portability and being reciprocal appears to be an issue that’s emerging.

The trick going forward will be interpreting what’s a real issue of being reciprocal and what’s corporate positioning.


No comments: