Facebook to MessageMe: Keep Your Filthy Hands Off My Social Graph
Sources in position to know tell AllThingsD that Facebook has cut off MessageMe’s access to the Facebook Friend Graph, preventing users of the mobile messenger app from searching for friends via the social network. Try to bring up a list of Facebook friends on MessageMe today and you’ll see only an empty page or an error message.
Facebook declined comment on the move — which was first reported by TechCrunch — but sources say that pulling the plug on MessageMe like this is policy enforcement, plain and simple. And it does appear to be that. In the past, Facebook has made it quite clear that it’s not comfortable with products extracting user data for an app or service that mimics one of its own. MessageMe has a few … commonalities with Facebook Messenger, so this is a pretty cut and dried case of Facebook dropping the hammer on an app that has trespassed on one of its core functionalities.*
And this really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, least of all MessageMe. It’s always a risk building a service that’s dependent on another incumbent service. And if the service you’re building is a potential future competitor? There’s a certain inevitability there, no? It’s not as though big Internet companies like Facebook and Twitter don’t have a history of closing off their social graphs to upstarts that might threaten them down the road.
* To be clear, Facebook has not cut off MessageMe entirely. The oufit still has platform/API access, so its users can use their Facebook credentials to login, etc.
With reporting by Mike Isaac.