Developer anger as Facebook shuts down Face.com API

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Less than a month after its buyout by Facebook, Israeli facial recognition site Face.com is shutting down its application programming interfaces (APIs) and booting out Klik, its iOS app.

Face.com was one of many items on Mark Zuckerberg’s shopping list this year, including Instagram and location-based app Glancee among others as the social media giant bolstered its mobile arsenal.

Reports differed in terms of the amount Facebook paid at the time, from anywhere between $60m (£38m) and $100m (£64m) depending on what you read.

The Face.com homepage glibly informs users of the changes and how it would affect them.

“Face.com has been acquired by Facebook, and as part of this process, we need to close up existing products and services so we can focus on new products at Facebook”, the statement reads.

While it may be inferred that Facebook would want to exert their influence, this news will annoy many developers as it appeared Face.com wanted to continue with the status quo at the time of the acquisition.

According to a blog post from owner Gil Hersch at the time of the acquisition: “We love you guys, and the plan is to continue to support our developer community”.

Evidently, this didn’t extend to keeping the APIs.

Elsewhere Klik, the face recognition app for iPhone which allowed users to tag faces in Facebook photos, has been taken off the App Store, with users directed to instructions telling them how to get their data off the app before the shut down on July 20.

“Face.com…will not be migrating data to Facebook. All your data will be deleted – no exceptions,” Klik’s official download page warns.

This move certainly appears to have angered the developer community, but can you still be angry if you base your entire work set on another company’s technology, knowing in the back of your mind it could be taken down at any time? Should there be an open source alternative?

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