A section in the Facebook community policies stipulated, until today, that the apps that were added to the platform could not copy functions that were already on Facebook natively. The social network has announced that this rule will no longer be valid. Until now, apps that replicated functions such as finding friends or creating and sending GIFs were prohibited on the platform.
“Facebook will make its policy more lax than hitherto denied other applications to copy basic functions of the platform.”
This left applications such as Vine or MessageMe out of users’ reach to allow their users to find their Facebook friends using the Find Friends function. This action will allow much more freedom to developers who want to introduce applications on the platform. From the social network have commented that this decision will allow Facebook to be a more open platform.
The previous policy was seen by some people as a way to harm the competitors of the social network. By denying that other applications allowed their users to search for their Facebook friends, the social network established a kind of domination over the competition that could be harmful to users and not just to rival platforms.
The change will work retroactively, and applications that lost permissions to operate in the social network may ask to be reviewed, and once their application is approved, they will have access to the social network. This will open the way for the return of apps much loved by users.
On the other hand, the new policy is much more honest, since the social network has replicated on its platform base functions of other social networks. The best known case is that of Snapchat, whose filter functions and ephemeral publication format have been integrated into all Facebook applications, including Instagram and WhatsApp.