Seth Sternberg, CEO of Meebo, posted a notice tonight that the company has been temporarily banned from accessing Facebook using their current protocol. The company added support at the end of December (approximately 3 weeks ago) and Facebook has since informed them that they must pull the plug. How would Facebook like them to access the chat system?
Not sure, but Facebook is working with Meebo to hammer out the details. Also noted was that this is part of Facebook’s broader aim of opening Facebook Chat. It appears that the new integration would leverage Facebook Connect which is most definitely an interesting concept. Adding Facebook’s chat service to the existing API would be extremely interesting.
Facebook has been handling Connect integration conflicts on a case by case basis. Want to implement your own version of Connect but not sure if it violates Facebook’s terms of service? We’d suggest pinging the company first but it appears that holding off on development isn’t a good idea either. The company has yet to clarify their fourth party integration policy since recently launched applications like Disqus and JS-Kit have implemented “modified versions” of the Facebook Connect terms.
It has been a couple weeks and developers still await clarification but I’m sure any large implementation of Facebook Connect which is in violation of the terms will be rapidly disabled. We are beginning to see the first signs of that with tonight’s post by Seth Sternberg. What is becoming increasingly clear is the internal debate over proper Facebook Connect implementation.
As I previously mentioned, Facebook appeared to adopt a new widget policy within days of my early communication with them. Today that policy continues to be hashed out and it has turned public with Meebo’s statement. I’m hoping that clarification of fourth-party policies come soon.