Facebook Blocks Yandex Social Search App For iOS

By Alexandra Burlacu email: a.burlacu@mobilenapps.com | Jan 26, 2013 06:27 PM EST

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Yandex has launched a new app called Wonder, but found the app blocked on Facebook's social graph just hours after launch.

With the Wonder app for iOS, Russian search giant Yandex aims to combine Google with one's favorite social networks. The app has launched only in the U.S. for now and focuses on three categories: places, music, and news. The app also allows for a limited number of questions.

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"Social networks have become the main source of information for many of us," the company explained on its Wonder blog. "We get news from Twitter and Facebook, learn about new places on Foursquare and Instagram, discover new music on Facebook via Spotify and Rdio integration."

Yandex' new Wonder app collects friends' activity from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare and indexes that data so users can access it instantly.

"Now you can ask questions about what your friends have been up to in order to get recommendations for the best coffee in your area or which tracks should be added to your playlist," added Yandex.

When it comes to those Facebook results, however, things are not quite as Yandex had hoped for. Only hours after the Wonder app made its debut, Facebook blocked all API calls from the app. This, however, is not a first, as the social network has been busy restricting access to its data. The social network also blocked Twitter's new video sharing system, Vine, from accessing its data, less than a day after the service launched.

Facebook offers APIs to access parts of its data, but it seems that if software developers could have a chance to make some money off that data, the social network will not think twice about restricting access. This makes it harder for smaller developers to work with Facebook's APIs.

"We are in touch with Facebook to enquire about the reasons for this and what can be done to solve the problem," a Yandex spokesman told PCMag.

For now, an error message greets any new users attempting to connect to Wonder via Facebook. This means the app is only left with Instagram, Twitter, and Foursquare, all of which function as they should.

To be fair, Facebook does warn about such instances in its Platform Policy, if one takes the time to read it. The no. 12 condition says, "You must not include data obtained from us in any search engine or directory without written permission."

Yandex' new Wonder app for iOS is currently available for download as a free app in the Apple App Store.

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