Facebook accused of being latest third-party-pooper

Third-party developers are unhappy, as GMSV addressed yesterday, as companies such as craigslist and Twitter file lawsuits and tighten rules around their precious platforms. Now a developer’s open letter to Mark Zuckerberg accuses Facebook of bullying.

“Your team doesn’t seem to understand that being ‘good negotiators’ vs. implying that you will destroy someone’s business built on your ‘open platform’ are not the same thing,” Dalton Caldwell wrote Wednesday to Facebook’s CEO after what he says was a June meeting with a handful of executives at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters. Caldwell showed them an app that they deemed to be a competitor to Facebook’s App Center, and he wasn’t happy with their reaction, including what he called an attempt at an “acqui-hire.” “Personally speaking, I am resolved to never write another line of code for rotten-to-the-core ‘platforms’ like Facebook or Twitter. Lesson learned.”

Mike Isaac of AllThingsD points out that Zuckerberg recently said he wants developers to continue building apps on top of Facebook’s platform, but Caldwell’s experience seems to paint a different picture. Facebook hasn’t commented.

But Google has, by way of a Vic Gundotra post on Google+ last night, in which the senior vice president of engineering at Google seizes upon the recent developer discontent with Twitter and Facebook to explain why Google’s social network hasn’t opened up its API (application programming interface) to all developers. “We’re being careful because we want to be different. You know, actually respectful of developers who build on our platform. It’s novel. I know,” he wrote. Reaction to his post was mixed, with at least one person seeing it as opportunistic and saying, “you are so much better than this — so is Google.”


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