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As Controversy Swirls, Facebook Dials Down the Swagger On Its Developer Conference (theverge.com) 26

In the recent years, Facebook has used its developer conference -- F8 -- as an opportunity to showcase the most bleeding technologies: Type with your brain. 'Hear' with your skin. And in the event of an emergency, a helicopter to the rescue with some free internet access. But that was a different time. In the recent months, the company has faced backlash for Cambridge Analytica scandal, and reportedly delayed plans to launch a Amazon Echo-like speaker. But perhaps the biggest surprise for developers came this month when Facebook deprecated APIs to limit the amount of data developers had access to -- forcing many to seriously rethink their business model as their existence revolved around access to users' data. So how does the company plan to cherish its developer ecosystem at the two-day long F8 conference starting tomorrow? The Verge reports: The bruising series of events leading up to F8 is expected to produce a more muted affair than in previous years. (Much of the event had to be reworked in recent weeks after the company began shutting down APIs, people familiar with the matter told The Verge.) On one hand, the event, which takes places Tuesday and Wednesday in San Jose, is still very much on. Facebook says it's the biggest F8 ever, with more than 50 sessions available to a record crowd of 5,000 attendees. But the company acknowledges that the event comes at a time when Facebook is radically rethinking its relationship with those developers.

[...] It remains to be see whether the company will get a warm reception from partners who have been blindsided by the changes. Justin Krause runs a startup named Pod that builds a smart calendar app for iOS. Until this month, the app integrated with Facebook to put events from the social app onto your calendar. Then, in the wake of this month's Congressional hearings, Facebook revoked Pod's access to the calendar API without warning. "They didn't announce that they were revoking this data or send errors -- they just started sending empty lists, silently," Krause said. [...] In any case, it promises to be Facebook's strangest developer conference ever -- it's the only one to be held in the midst of a massive API shutdown.

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As Controversy Swirls, Facebook Dials Down the Swagger On Its Developer Conference

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  • This is the kind of place that a VC takes his victims to convince them to invest in his schemes. If Facebook is doing this, you should too. They buy it hook, line, and sinker. They lose all their money, and the VC goes onto the next victims and gets his fees on the next startup.

  • Fuck these scum (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Awww. Sounds like nothing of value is being lost.

    Justin Krause runs a startup named Pod that builds a smart calendar app for iOS.

    Doesn’t sound that smart if it requires Facebook to work.

  • will die when the api goes away. Or if not dead, somewhat crippled. Kind of like that link on my blue ray player to Blockbuster.

    Being an old fart I have always been amazed at the whining when somebody loses their free ride. You get what you pay for folks.
  • The controversy ... as in this article here?

    Oh, yeah, I feel completely comfortable with the media referring to itself to evaluate all kinds of stuff.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously, the year I went Facebook employees treated everyone that wasn't like we were morons. Many of them were just hostile to us. A couple of years later I went to a Dart event at Google's office in SF on Spear St, and all of their employees were nice and helpful. Just a completely different culture.

    • The Dart Summit was three years ago this week. Seems like longer ago. You're right the employees there were nice unlike the ones I've dealt with here in Seattle that work for Facebook. Arrogant is not a strong enough word for them.

      Here's a pic I took from Google's lunch room balcony that week:

      https://imgur.com/rV8ysp0 [imgur.com]

      The location is amazing.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Monday April 30, 2018 @01:53PM (#56530971)

    Lots of people in this field, especially in the SV startup scene, may not have had experience with Dotcom Bubble 1.0. However, I believe we're finally starting to see signs of the peak for Bubble 2.0. During 1.0, it was all about getting big quickly, launch parties, flashy advertising and IPOs. 2.0 seems to be all about disruption and dominating the market segment you're in without having to sell yourself to the public. This explains the relentless drive to build businesses on top of other companies' APIs. Problem is, when that company stops making the data you rely on available for free (or cheap,) the party's over and your business model is toast. Could you imagine what would happen if Google pulled access to its maps API or started charging?

    Bubble 2.0 is probably going to hang in there a lot longer than 1.0. The Cloud means startups don't have to raise millions more to build data centers, and there's still the allure of getting access to billions more users' data in one way or another so startups will be able to get VC money for a while. Since we're not selling pets.com stock to individual investors there probably won't be a dotcom crash. But I think the same things will happen with tech that came out of this bubble...we'll pick up the really useful stuff and continue using it in a less frenetic manner.

    • They're selling bags of dry dog food over the net again. Chewy.com IIRC.

      Fucking morons.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Not just one bag, a dog food SUBSCRIPTION! Recurring monthly revenue FTW! (BarkBox, Stitch Fix, Blue Apron, Harry's shaving stuff, etc.) These companies saw how AWS was charging people monthly to rent infrastructure and said, "Hey, we can use the power of _AI_ to send our users a box of junk every month! And they'll pay us for it!"

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I've been considering making a subscription box service where I send victims a box of random items from my garage and storage room every month, until I run out. Just need to figure out how to advertise it.

          • This is exactly what woot.com did with the Bag of Crap.

            $5 + shipping for the BoC that could include anything from twine and lint to a fancy new HDTV.
            The smart money bought the max per account usually 3) to minimize the shipping overhead.
            Their servers crashed every single time, and they were sold out instantly. But if you secured one, oh man, you were the tits around town. "I got 3 BoC. Yeah, they put up a BoC for 4 seconds at midnight. I was hitting F5 non stop for 2 hours and I got 3. You missed it? Th

    • "Could you imagine what would happen if Google pulled access to its maps API or started charging?"

      Dunno about your company. Bur out company has some functionality which depends on the Maps API and we're already paying Google for our API access, including SLAs and limits on our usage.

      Business models which rely on using/abusing other companies business models to survive are ALWAYS in a precarious position.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday April 30, 2018 @01:58PM (#56531031)

    If you think there is any real kind of reform happening at Facebook then you are the kind of fool they want on their platform. The reality is that they are pulling back and creating the appearance that they are changing. Why the sham? Simple, they are trying to stem the exodus of US users not because they care about a measly 200M users but because that could create a vacuum for a new platform. That new platform could them go on to displace them globally.

    Expect the level data access to be restored to it's former glory in a year or so. Naturally, they may start charging by the number of profiles you request to prevent us "little people" from using it.

  • After teh events in California with the Golden State Killer this past week, one has to wonder if FB is the bad boy or is it Ancestry.com / 23 & Me.


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