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This still doesn't sound wrong to me. You built something. You showed it to them. They liked it. They later liked it so much that they wanted a similar product.

Did they threaten to revoke API access?




yep. That was presented as an option they could use by one exec, on a phone call.

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OK, that's definitely uncool. That should probably be part of the letter.

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I have digital "proof" that all of the other details in my post are true, in case FB PR attempts to discredit me.

I don't have a recording to back up my claims of what was said in that phone call, so I chose not include those details.

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That makes sense, but what remains in the letter isn't a significant grievance. Facebook using API access in an anti-competitive manner is.

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I agree, the letter makes it sound there isn't anything serious going on. And the general skepticism here on HN seem valid. But if a FB exec informally threatened to revoke API access, then it's a whole different picture. This little detail deserves a bit more visibility.

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But they suggested they were wiling to compensate Dalton (by buying his company) which makes it decidedly less uncool.

P.S. did people here believe before this story broke that Facebook would never revoke API access when it is in their strategic interest to do so? What did Facebook say or do to give off that impression? Is this an industry norm I am not familiar with?

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Starting a company on top of FB's platform without the confidence that your API access is safe from FB's "strategic interests" is not business, it's russian roulette.

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An awful lot of startups these days are created on top of an existing giant's rather volatile shoulders: Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, heck even Gree and Zynga. The APIs and platforms are a rat trap for developers, but the massive userbase is oh such tasty cheese. Most hope to be quick enough delivering value for a buyout to make more sense than a shutdown, but few can pull that off.

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Absolutely right. The only difference between alleged platforms is how the platform owners treat their devs. All platform companies face the same issues of balancing developer trust and the ensuing added value and their own strategic imperatives but not all platform companies are alike. Companies can have very different cultures and very different attitudes to third parties with whom they have business relations. The fact that they CAN turn on their own on a whim doesn't mean that they have to or WILL. So stories about the documented behavior of any such companies are very valuable to devs.

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