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Facebook is preventing Twitter's Vine from finding friends

Twitter's Vine feature lets users share videos.Vine
Image: Vine posting
Twitter's Vine service lets users upload videos.Vine

Twitter's Vine officially launched on Thursday and things have already been fairly rough for the new video-sharing service. First we noticed that it seems to lack any proper privacy settings or features and now it seems as if Facebook's preventing Vine from finding any friends.

As the Verge's Jeff Blagdon points out, some Twitter users are calling attention to an error message which appears when they attempt to find Facebook friends on Vine. "Vine is not authorized to make this Facebook request," the message explains.

We reached out to both Facebook and Twitter to find out more about this error message. A Twitter spokesperson responded with a polite message pointing us to a post on the official Facebook developers blog. (Yes, yes. This made us chuckle for a moment, too.)

In the blog post, Facebook's Justin Osofsky, director of platform partnerships and operations, clarifies some of the social network's platform policies. He basically explains that most apps use Facebook's platform to give people an easy way to log into apps, easily share content and so on. But, he writes, there is a small number of apps which are "using Facebook to either replicate [its] functionality or bootstrap their growth in a way that creates little value for people on Facebook."

"[W]e’ve had policies against this that we are further clarifying today," he writes, linking to the social network's platform policies page, which explains why Vine's cut off:

Facebook Platform enables developers to build personalized, social experiences via the Graph API and related APIs. If you use any Facebook APIs to build personalized or social experiences, you must also enable people to easily share their experiences back with people on Facebook. [...] You may not use Facebook Platform to promote, or to export user data to, a product or service that replicates a core Facebook product or service without our permission.

In other words: No, Vine. You can't make friends by leaning on Facebook.

Of course, this siliness is just the latest skirmish in a long battle over "friends" between Facebook and Twitter. Facebook blocked Twitter's access to the social network's in-app friend finder in mid-2010 and Twitter later killed Instagram's ability to find friends easily. (Instagram, as you may remember, is now owned by Facebook.

Guess it's Twitter's turn to do something again.

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