Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been promoting itself as a open source social platform, where many developers are welcome to create apps and place them on the platform for one billion users to enjoy them and share with others. Well, the source may be open – but apparently only if you are not a rival application. At the same time, the platform is open enough to leak on phone numbers that aren’t supposed to be leaked.
The two sides of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). Menlo Park is making a couple more headlines Thursday morning that surround the platform’s openness – like, if the openness isn’t infinite, where is the limit?
First, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) announced that it is currently fixing a bug that has leaked user phone numbers to developers. This bug was first reported last summer, but Facebook claimed the incidence rate was about 0.1 percent of all app downloads. But in recent weeks, that number has spiked. The bug comes with users downloaded apps for use on Facebook. When a user registers to download the app, the user gives permission for e-mail addresses to be shared with the developer, but instead the user’s phone number would be sent instead.
On the other side of the coin, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) might be opening doors on one side, but it apparently is shutting the door on the other side if an app is seen as a rival to an existing Facebook property. In this case, Virtual Camera, a popular app that allows users to add various retro filters to photos and share socially, has apparently been removed from the Facebook platform. There seems to be some debate whether the app was blocked due to it competition with Facebook’s own Instagram.
What is the big deal?
Vintage Camera, which started in late 2011 on the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS platform, has been downloaded about 8 million times and users share at least 1,000 photos per day, according to a media release from developer Presselite.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) claims that “strong negative feedback” from users has guided its decision to block the app. However, Presselite co-founder Antoine Marcos says he has evidence that suggests that only 0.3 percent of photos shared through the Vintage Camera app have led to user complaints. Facebook went on to say that Vintage Camera has violated Facebook policies, but Marcos claims that Facebook has not provided any information about how the app has been in violation.
What do you think? Give us your thoughts about either of these cases, or about Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) in general, in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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