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Ping, Apple's new foray into social networking, is already driving a wedge between Facebook and the Cupertino company. At first, Apple's new social network was partially integrated with Facebook, allowing users to connect with their Facebook friends who had also signed up for Ping. Facebook has since blocked Ping from accessing its API, rendering the feature useless and forcing Apple to dismantle it. In a surprisingly candid interview with All Things Digital, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said negotiations to further integrate with Facebook broke down because of the "onerous terms" set by Facebook. So what happened and is this just the beginning of a longer feud?

  • Here's Where Apple and Facebook Clashed, explains Kara Swisher at All Things Digital:

According to sources familiar with Facebook's platform, the social networking giant essentially denied Apple's Ping access to application programming interfaces that would allow it to search for an iTunes user's friends on Facebook who also had signed up for Ping.

Normally, this API access is open and does not require permission.

That is, unless some entity wants to access it a lot. In that case, Facebook requires an agreement for reasons primarily centered on protection of Facebook user data and, of course, infrastructure impact... Sources said Apple went ahead with a plan to access the Facebook APIs freely, but Facebook blocked it since it violated its terms of service. When that happened, it seems Apple pulled the plug on the connection with Facebook friends.

  • It's Pretty Simple, Apple Broke the Rules, writes Keith Dsouza at Techie Buzz: "The major reason behind Facebook blocking Ping's API requests is not because of it being a competitor, but because of the amount of users iTunes currently has, 160 million to be precise. So even though Facebook's Connect API is free to use, however, if someone wants to use it a lot, which is the case with iTunes, they have to have an agreement with Facebook.
  • I'm Not So Sure About That, writes Miguel Helft at The New York Times: "iTunes has 160 million users, according to Apple. But since only a small fraction of those users have enrolled in Ping, it is not clear how Apple could have exceeded Facebook's limits for traffic. In its Developer Principles, Facebook says that developers who exceed 100 million calls every day must contact the company because they may be subject to additional contract terms. It is also not clear why Facebook did not call Apple to resolve the issue before it pulled the plug on Ping connections."
  • This Is Definitely About Competition, writes Seth Weintraub at 9to5 Mac: "Facebook knows that Ping not only looks like Facebook but it carves a large chunk out of what Facebook does and plans to do. They have no intention of easily allowing Apple to use their social graph to replicate their capabilities on Ping. You think Facebook has any plans to sell music using reccomendations? I'm sure it is on the agenda. Therefore, Zuckerberg isn't going to just give away the store to Apple. But does Apple really need Facebook to sign up users and make? Judging from the fact that Lady Gaga has a couple hundred thousand followers less than 24 hours after Ping was released, I'd say not."

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