Twitter-Facebook battle rages anew

The battle between social network giants Twitter and Facebook is raging anew.

Last week, Twitter released a new app that can possibly top Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.

Vine, which is available only on Apple gadgets at the moment, has the capability of creating stop-and-go videos that resemble animated GIFs (or moving pictures).

Brad Hill, editor of Engadget, describes Vine as a perfect enhancement of Twitter’s casual “what’s happening now” program and gives greater movement and reality to life-casting.

Vine is a basically a real-time editing software which uses the video function of the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

The simple interface captures images as long as the user’s finger is touching the screen for six seconds and essential ly creating a six-second video.

Some users use it to create a time-lapse-like video effect by just tapping the screen. New Vine contents are generated every day. The contents include cute pets, people eating food in six seconds, and stop-motion animation of stuffed toys.

Facebook, in the meantime, disabled Vine’s access to its friend-finder API so that it can prevent its users from promoting the new app.

Based on Facebook’s Platform policies for developers, Vine is basically replicating one of its “core functionalities” which is the video upload.

Twitter actually made the same move by disabling its own friend-finding API in Instagram when Facebook acquired the popular image-sharing app earlier this year.

In Brad Hill’s recent editorial, he describes this recent friction between Twitter and Facebook. He says, “When Facebook or Twitter cuts the cord which integrates our friendship circles (the friend-finding part of their API), it becomes frustratingly clear that we are owned. We don’t freely own our social connections across the internet. Social users are owned assets, like dollars in the bank, guarded by platform policies and hedged by developmental roadmaps that seek to cut off competing apps at the knees.”

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Hill adds, “This business with Twitter/Vine is just a snarky play in a continuing poker game. But as an ongoing strategy, disabling users from calling back to their friends from another social destination depersonalizes Facebook and contradicts the social ethos that it was founded on. No secrets, Mark? Then the users of whom you demand that standard should be allowed to tell their friends about Vine, and the next one, and the next. Beat your competitors if you can. But don’t obscure them from your users.”

I mainly use Twitter to know what’s happening in the world, and I use Facebook to keep in touch with my relatives and friends whom I seldom get to see in person.

But I always keep in mind that these social networks are here to make money. And I understand what Mr. Hill is saying, but as long as they don’t charge me for using their sites, I’m fine with that – at least at the moment.