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Developer Says Facebook Banning Instagram Competitors

By - Source: Presselite Email | B 18 comments

Facebook may be shunning Instagram competitors, starting with Vintage Camera.

Back in April 2012, social network giant Facebook acquired the popular photo-sharing platform Instagram for around $1 billion in a combination of cash and stock. The service originally launched as an iOS app back in 2010, and eventually invaded Google's Android platform just before Instagram was acquired by Facebook.

After the acquisition, there was fear that Instagram would receive a "most favored nation" status even though Zuckerberg himself said that Instagram would continue on as an independent service.

"For years, we've focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family," Zuckerberg said. "Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests."

Now a French developer has come forward claiming that Facebook is actually blocking Instagram competitors. Presselite co-founder Antoine Morocos emailed Tom's claiming that the social website has blocked the "Photo Sharing on Facebook" feature offered in the Vintage Camera app for iOS. He even provided screenshots of the Facebook developer administration panel to back up his claims.

According to the report, Presselite contacted Facebook when it began to notice that the millions of Vintage Camera users could no longer share to Facebook. "We've checked out the circumstances of your app's restriction, and we found that your app received strong negative feedback from users and their friends," Facebook responded. "Unfortunately, we will not be able to restore your app's functionality."

Presselite pulled up the stats and saw that for a total of 1000 to 3000 photos shared per day via the VintageCamera application, only 1 or 3 negative feedback are reported on Facebook. That's a negative feedback percentage of less than 0.3, Morocos said, and likely due to user error.

"We made an appeal but Facebook has refused to approve it," Morocos said. "Facebook seems to consider that 0.3-percent of negative feedback is 'strong'? Currently, Facebook does not provide any acceptable level of negative feedback, so Facebook is free to decide for each case."

Morocos goes on to state that Facebook will not provide any reason as to why the photo-sharing app has been blocked, nor will it point out which part of the Facebook policies Vintage Camera actually violates. Morocos claims that Vintage Camera is not violating any of the Facebook Platform Principles.

Vintage Camera's current user base is around 8 million -- not quite the 100 million that supposedly use Instagram, but enough to make the social network possibly nervous. Vintage Camera is also quite similar to Instagram yet tries to offers its own unique footing in photo editing. Ultimately both services use filters, and until lately, both allowed users to upload photos to their Facebook pages.

"Pending on the violation, we give developers an opportunity to come into compliance via a warning system," Facebook told the BBC. "In the case of this application, the application was not in compliance with our platform policies and had received three warnings prior to our systems taking action on the application."

The Vintage Camera app currently has a four-star average rating on iTunes although some complain that it's too similar to Instagram while others complain it doesn't work correctly. Data submitted by Presselite even shows that the app was providing a positive experience for Facebook users. Yet because of the similarities between Vintage Camera and Instagram, it wouldn't be surprising if Facebook pulled the plug on supporting the former photo-sharing competitor.

"As you all know, Facebook has acquired Instagram photo sharing application, and we hope this acquisition is not influencing this kind of restriction / access limitation for other photo applications," Morocos said.


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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    house70 , February 28, 2013 11:00 AM
    What a coincidence. I just banned FB from my house.
  • 10 Hide
    CrArC , February 28, 2013 11:13 AM
    house70What a coincidence. I just banned FB from my house.
    I hate Facebook with the force of a thousand suns.

    It's not like Facebook ever did anything to wrong me, I just hate how much other people seem to rely on it. I hate how it's worming its way into my phone, my desktop OS, my web browsers, etc.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    house70 , February 28, 2013 11:00 AM
    What a coincidence. I just banned FB from my house.
  • Display all 18 comments.
  • 5 Hide
    aracheb , February 28, 2013 11:13 AM
    Smell like monopoly Lawsuit around here
  • 10 Hide
    CrArC , February 28, 2013 11:13 AM
    house70What a coincidence. I just banned FB from my house.
    I hate Facebook with the force of a thousand suns.

    It's not like Facebook ever did anything to wrong me, I just hate how much other people seem to rely on it. I hate how it's worming its way into my phone, my desktop OS, my web browsers, etc.
  • 8 Hide
    das_stig , February 28, 2013 11:43 AM
    I wish the Facebook servers would contract a virus and simply wipe all its data off the face of the planet and then blow themselves up.
  • 3 Hide
    antilycus , February 28, 2013 12:52 PM
    facebook owns facebook. they can reject whatever they want. It;s up to people to stop using it so if you want to really complain and make a difference talk to the next person you see and yell at them, not facebook.
  • 3 Hide
    contentsmayvary , February 28, 2013 1:34 PM
    @Antilycus: Who is posting here on these forums then? Bots?
  • 2 Hide
    irish_adam , February 28, 2013 2:04 PM
    antilycusfacebook owns facebook. they can reject whatever they want. It;s up to people to stop using it so if you want to really complain and make a difference talk to the next person you see and yell at them, not facebook.


    thats not true, you can be fined for abusing your market position. Its like saying that microsoft could ban all 3rd party browsers or skype competitors.
  • 2 Hide
    p05esto , February 28, 2013 3:04 PM
    irish_adamthats not true, you can be fined for abusing your market position. Its like saying that microsoft could ban all 3rd party browsers or skype competitors.


    Yea well, I don't like it. MS should be able to put whatever damn browser they want on THEIR OS, and if we don't like it we can go somewhere else. How are you going to get another browser if one doesn't come preloaded?

    I freaking HATE facebook and the like, but they can do whatever they heck they want with their customer data, developers, apps, etc. I don't give an ass about monopoloy BS. If Classic Pic doesn't like it then go to Google or make their own social crap network or whatever. Or just shoot yourself if you're making another lame social instacrap service. God please!
  • -2 Hide
    irish_adam , February 28, 2013 4:56 PM
    ok so there would be no chrome, no firefox etc. and you would be ok with that?

    there is no real alternative to windows, they have a monopoly and such things need to be regulated otherwise you'd be paying through the nose right now for every service microsoft offered. If you didnt like it where are you going to go linux? it may be better now but still if you rely on a program or service that is windows exclusive you have no choice.

    facebook is becoming that way, if all your friends are on facebook goodluck convincing them all to join another, especially with their 1000+ pictures and contacts which they will have to try and migrate.
  • 4 Hide
    didyoucheckyourtcpip , February 28, 2013 7:10 PM
    I don't get why it's so important to some people to be able to apply effects filters to their crappy smartphone pictures and make them look even worse.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 28, 2013 7:19 PM
    So what happens if 3+ people a day give negative feedback about Instagram photos? Do they have to ban that as well? He said it was an independent company right and so it should be treated the same right? It will be fine because Instagram can just use other upload platforms like Google+ etc anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , February 28, 2013 9:00 PM
    because saving the image file to your phone or computer and then uploading it manually is hard? i see no problem blocking a service from directly loading to your netowrk, could be a security thing could just be them wanting to make it harder fo rhtem to compete with instagram in either case its just mostly terrible pictures from a tiny overhyped "high megapixel" camera sensor that looks bad put hrough a filter that makes it worse then throws it up onto another program. which brings me ot another point maybe their files from their filters add to much size to the image and so facebook doens't want to have to keep the data or convert it on their server.. who knows
  • 0 Hide
    chumly , March 1, 2013 12:04 AM
    Get a lawyer, take Mark's money. Everyone else does.
  • 0 Hide
    martel80 , March 1, 2013 5:39 AM
    Last time I checked, FB was a private company running a private service on their private servers. They can do whatever they (or shareholders) want. It's their own risk of losing customers for this.

    Monopoly? Just move to Google+.
  • 0 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , March 1, 2013 7:37 AM
    CrArCI hate Facebook with the force of a thousand suns.It's not like Facebook ever did anything to wrong me, I just hate how much other people seem to rely on it. I hate how it's worming its way into my phone, my desktop OS, my web browsers, etc.


    Yeah. It is rather insidious. You have to be forever vigilant that some message that pops up does not install some facebook toolbar or plugin or something for your browser, phone, etc. Not only that, but I had to create a fake facebook account just so that I can comment several news forums that require you to login with facebook. I can't even remove it from my phone, because it came with the phone. It's completely disabled though. Dunno if that stops them from using up my mobile internet data cap though.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 1, 2013 11:27 AM
    Why is the picture for this article the guy who places Francis on YouTube?
    That's the only reason I clicked on the link!!

    Oh, just answered my own question.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 1, 2013 11:32 AM
    @martel80 FB is a publicly traded corporation. That gives them more legal responsibilities than a private company. Also, as with any advertising driven medium, the users of the service are not customers. The advertisers are their customers. We are the product.

  • 0 Hide
    svdb , March 1, 2013 7:20 PM
    antilycusfacebook owns facebook. they can reject whatever they want. It;s up to people to stop using it so if you want to really complain and make a difference talk to the next person you see and yell at them, not facebook.
    You don't understand or don't accept the notion of competition that allows the free market to function instead of coming to a grinding halt.
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