Facebook Blocks Apps From Its Social Graph
January 26, 2013

Yandex Wonder And Twitter Vine Apps Blocked By Facebook

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Yandex´s social search app Wonder and Twitter´s Vine mobile video creation and sharing service have been prohibited from searching on Facebook´s social graph.

Wonder, which was only officially launched for the iPhone and iPod Touch on Thursday, compiles information from a user´s social media accounts to suggest things or places that might be of interest.

According to the Russian search engine firm, the plan was for the app to answer various search queries “using the information about our friends´ activity on Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare and Twitter — places they visited, music they listened to, or news they read.”

“Wonder is an iOS app that anyone can use to ask it questions verbally, in natural language,” explained VentureBeat´s Meghan Kelly. “It uses Nuance´s speech-to-text technology in order to facilitate this feature, though it will also let you type out the question if you´re in a place that is too noisy (or you´re too embarrassed to ask it out loud).”

However, as Lawrence Latif of The Inquirer reported Friday, Facebook blocked the software just hours after its launch.

“While Yandex's Wonder app uses multiple social networks, check-in services and music streaming services, Facebook blocked it from searching its social graph, its most valuable commodity,” he wrote. “Of course Facebook launched its own social graph searching tool earlier this week, which it hopes will be a boon to advertisers that want to mine Facebook users' data for their profit.”

Facebook´s recently announced service, which has been dubbed “Graph Search,”, works in a way that is similar in nature to Wonder. Members of the social network conduct a search for something specific, such as restaurants in Chicago, Illinois.

After inputting their search, they are provided with a list of results that includes such things as eateries that might have been frequented (or at least mentioned) by people on their friends list, or perhaps even pictures of cuisine that acquaintances might have enjoyed.

A Yandex spokesman told PCMag.com that they have contacted Facebook in an attempt to find out why the app was being blocked, and what they could do in order to correct the issue. Currently, any attempt to sign up to Wonder through Facebook returns an error message, the website´s Stephanie Mlot said, but other social networks are functioning as normal.

Wonder was not the only app blocked recently by the popular social network, however, as the Vine video sharing system from rival Twitter was also banned from accessing Facebook less than 24 hours after its launch, according to Latif.

Vine, which was announced earlier this week, allows users to create videos that are six seconds or less, keeping the spirit of the microblogging website´s 140-character-or-less posting policy alive.

The videos, which cannot yet be integrated into actual tweets, is free and is currently an iOS exclusive, though the company said they are currently working to “bring it to other platforms, so stay tuned for that.”