25. January 2013–
Russian search engine Yandex has confirmed in a statement that its just-released Wonder app has been blocked by Facebook. The social recommendation tool that draws information from users of Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare and Twitter in the US was only online for some three hours before Facebook blocked access to its API.
In an official statement to us today, Yandex stated:
We confirm Wonder app has been blocked by Facebook. We are in touch with Facebook to figure out on reasons and ways to solve the problem. As of now any new Wonder user who is trying to sign up with their Facebook’s account in Wonder gets the notification by Facebook “An error occurred. Please try again later”. Users who has already been signed up can still ask questions, but the Facebook data will not be updated. Instagram, Foursqure and Twitter data are being updated normally.
The experimental, voice-controlled iOS app is designed to answer questions on your peers’ preferences, such as “Where should I go to eat Korean in Berlin?”, “What are my friends listening to right now?” or “Where should I party this weekend?” by drawing information from your connections’ social media data – with the most valuable source obviously being Facebook.
At present, Wonder only supports places visited, news shared, and music searches, providing supplementary data on artists and places from Last.fm and Foursquare.
Read more after the demo video…
The similarities in data collection and sorting to Facebook’s Graph Search have clearly not gone un-noticed by the search giant. Its Platform Policy states “You must not include data obtained from us in any search engine or directory without our written permission”.
Despite a pre-emptive statement by Yandex distinguishing Wonder as a “personal assistant”, rather than a search engine, Facebook is clearly not buying this, and has blocked access to its API. At present, attempts to sign-in with Facebook are met with an error message.
The companies are said to be “in negotiations” at present, although it looks as though Facebook has reached a point where it is more aggressively defending its users and information, rather than offering itself up as an open platform. Watch this space…
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