May 5, 2013
Facebook has apparently blocked the virtual path that enabled Path to allow its users to invite and find friends on the largest social network on the planet. As reported by TechCrunch and confirmed by Facebook itself, Facebook has restricted the popular "personal" social networking app from looking up a Path user's Facebook friends. Path recently received an update that supposedly makes finding and inviting friends easier. In particular, the update adds Twitter and Gmail integration for finding family and friends who are already on Path and inviting those who aren't yet. But lo and behold, it turns out that the app's Facebook integration built in for the same purpose has been removed following the update. What gives? Facebook was not very forthcoming about what led to its blocking of Path's access to its "friends" API. But it's safe to assume that the reason behind it may very well be connected to Path's recent spam controversy. Earlier this week, digital marketer Stephen Kenwright called attention to the rather aggressive way by which Path asks a user's family and friends to sign up for its service. This includes sending out text invitations to them without the user's express approval. And this apparently doesn't sit well with Facebook's developer platform policies, at least one of which clearly advises against spamming users:
Quality of content: you are responsible for providing users with a quality experience and must not confuse, defraud, mislead, spam or surprise users.Be that as it may, Path still has access to Facebook as a login option as well as a cross-posting option. In response to Kenwright's exposé, the folks behind Path argued that the app is "really best with friends and we really want to help users invite the people that they care about to their Path as quickly as possible." Well, that's no longer the case as far as users' Facebook friends are concerned.