Josh Constine, TechCrunch:
Facebook has offered Find Friends for years. But those were years when it was a web-based social network. It’s more now, or at least it wants to be. Facebook hopes to host all the ways you communicate. That has pitted it against Apple, Google, and other companies in war for messaging that’s only just heating up.
Now Facebook is coming out swinging, citing its Platform Policy that states “Competing social networks: (a) You may not use Facebook Platform to export user data into a competing social network without our permission.”
In the last week Facebook has blocked Voxer (a voice-messaging app), and now Twitter’s new Vine video posting service and Wonder, a “social search” app from Russian search giant Yandex. TechCrunch calls this “playing with fire,” as it might “scare off developers whose apps might otherwise provide content that could be shown next to ads and piped into Graph Search” — but the equivalent clearly hasn’t bothered Twitter. They both want to ingest data entirely on their terms, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook also follows Twitter’s lead in taking aggressive control over how you’re allowed to display their data anywhere that isn’t Facebook or an official FB app.
I think TechCrunch is right, though—or will be eventually. By working so diligently to lock their users in, Facebook and Twitter are ultimately relying on the same business strategy that AOL and Compuserve used a generation ago. The fatal flaw in that strategy? If it’s successful, it makes them the new AOL and Compuserve.