The cold war between Facebook and Twitter continued Thursday and nobody was really surprised by it. Vine, the new video app by Twitter that allows looping 6-second videos to be recorded and posted to the microblogging site, launched with the ability for users to find their Facebook friends that were also using the app. That ability lasted a few hours on Thursday before Facebook shut down API access.
“It’s basically an annoyance, a hindrance on an easy way to connect with all your existing friends using the service,” wrote Mike Isaac. “It would have been a good way to jump into a new product, rather than manually trying to find all of your friends using the app.”
Now, this is what users see:
Instagram pulled access from embedding on Twitter. Twitter followed by disallowing Instagram users access to their friends. It’s a growing trend amongst the elite social media websites to spite each other through denials. What does this tell us about the industry?
Primarily, this is another harbinger of the lines that are being drawn to separate Twitter, Facebook, Google, and most of the smaller players that these companies own. It’s a cold war that has been brewing for a couple of years and is finally starting to manifest itself in the most noticeable ways. We can expect the trend to continue. These companies are no longer going to reluctantly play nice with one another. Much like competition in industries outside of Silicon Valley and the social media sphere, these companies are beyond the points of milking each other for users. They can all stand on their own and force users to choose their preferred method of social networking.
It’s not really bad. If anything, the various social media sites have been too incestuous in the early days of social media. Now that they can operate and grow independently, they simply don’t need each other as much. Vine is not the beginning and is far from the end. It may, however, spark a development trend of not even trying to work in integration. Why build something into an app that will likely get cut off?