Facebook deliberately tried to bring down Vine

10 December 2018, 16:59

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Picture: (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Benedict Townsend

By Benedict Townsend

Zuckerberg himself reportedly ordered that Facebook take steps to hobble Vine

It's safe to say that Facebook has had a rocky few years. After a myriad of scandals and the release of the most hilariously tone-deaf product in human history, the big blue F has found itself not exactly beloved by the average internet user.

This will likely not be helped by the revelation of a new piece of information that sprung from a lawsuit that Facebook is currently embroiled in with an app developer called Six4Three. The developer created an app which could search for bikini pictures on Facebook (all right then). Facebook then changed its settings to prevent app developers from being able access their users’ friend data, which resulted in Six4Three going out of business.

Why is this relevant? Well, because it turns out that Facebook did a similar thing to Vine.

The Verge reports that on the day when Vine went live on the App Store in 2013, Facebook executive Justin Osofsky sent an internal email to other Facebook employees, saying:

“Unless anyone raises objections, we will shut down their friends API access today.”

Mark Zuckerberg himself responded, “Yup, go for it.”

In simple terms, they took away some of Vine's abilities when it comes to Facebook, making it harder to find Facebook friends on Vine. You may remember that it was always surprisingly difficult to find people on the app.

These messages were included in the Six4Three with the intention of showing that Facebook allegedly acts to try and actively block competitors when it can.

RIP Vine. Long live Vine 2, which is on its way.