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Facebook restricts Path’s API access

TechCrunch reports that Path’s Facebook API access has been restricted, revoking the app’s ability to look up Facebook friends.

Facebook’s social graph went missing from yesterday’s update to Path‘s smartphone app, and Facebook now confirms it has restricted Path’s API access. Path can no longer look up your Facebook friends, which prevents it from sending them invitations or suggesting you follow them. The move may be in response to Path spamming user’s contacts with invites last week.

This is a serious blow to Path since Facebook has over 1 billion daily users and since the app is described as “private messaging and sharing with friends and family”, they’re exactly the type of user they wanted.

It’s highly unlikely that the reasoning behind the move isn’t anything to do with Path’s recent privacy issues and Facebook, whilst not confirming the reason, do confirm they’ve limited Path’s access at their end.

No matter how Path would try and spin it, this is potentially crippling for the app. There’ll be a sharp drop in the number of follower recommendations the app now that Facebook access is gone and more people actively use Facebook than Twitter.

Is Facebook being a little heavy-handed? Yes. But don’t forget, Facebook has been in trouble with privacy before. The last thing it needs to deal with is a popular app that has its own privacy issues which uses their API, but not seeming to do anything about it.