Facebook Blocks Instagram-Like App Vintage Camera

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook has not been hesitant to cut off data to applications that don’t share back, as Vine and Yandex discovered recently. Now it has blocked a photo app — Vintage Camera — with filters similar to Facebook’s Instagram, claiming that the app has received overwhelming negative feedback. But developer Presselite said negative feedback has been rare, and it feels that Facebook’s ownership of Instagram influenced its decision.

Vintage Camera, an iOS app with roughly 20,000 monthly active users (according to sister site AppData), allows users to take photos and apply filters, and then post pictures to Facebook and Twitter.

The BBC wrote that Facebook has blocked Vintage Camera from its social graph data, noting that several users have left negative feedback for the app. Facebook sent an email to Presselite, informing the developer of its decision:

We’ve checked out the circumstances of your app’s restriction, and we found that your app received strong negative feedback from users and their friends. Unfortunately, we will not be able to restore your app’s functionality.

However, Presselite feels that these claims are erroneous. Co-Founder Antoine Marcos told the BBC that there has been roughly one negative report per 1,000 images shared, mainly due to inappropriate use. Marcos issued a statement, feeling that his company’s app was unfairly targeted because it offers a similar service to Instagram:

We don’t understand how Facebook could block the access to millions of users of the Vintage Camera application who want to share their photos on Facebook, only because of a few negative feedback reports. As you all know, Facebook has acquired the Instagram photo-sharing application, and we hope this acquisition is not influencing this kind of access limitation for other photo applications.

Figures from AppData show that the app has generally been well-reviewed, getting five-star ratings roughly 68 percent of the time.

Readers: Have you used Vintage Camera?