Facebook has finally allowed developers to copy its features that were earlier its sole copyright. Facebook’s Platform Policy section 4.1 specifies that one cannot copy the core functionality that Facebook already implements as it is not an open platform. It mentions that everyone should contribute something unique to the community.
The policy seemed to be unfair when Facebook has also copied the core functionalities of other applications including Snapchat, Twitter etc. Facebook’s Platform Policy had previously been enforced as some competitors had used some of its policies like Find Friends or viral distribution features. Find Friends is an important API that allows users to find friends on Facebook.
Apps like MessageMe,Voxer, Vine, etc. had been cut off from the platform for copying some of its core functionalities i.e. video, messaging or GIF creation tools.
The announcement of declaring Facebook’s platform open will most importantly reduce the risk of building on the app’s platform. The decision seems fair as developers can build without the obvious fear. It was reported many times how Facebook misused its Platform Policy to attack competitors. The policy amendment will allow old apps that lost Find Friends or other functionality to submit their app for review, and once theapproval is granted, the companies will regain access.
The decision is expected to improve the company’s social graph.