Russia’s Yandex Puts Wonder App On Hold After Unsuccessful Talks With Facebook

By David Cohen 

After Facebook revoked access to its data from Russian search engine Yandex’s Wonder iOS application last week, Yandex announced that it will pull Wonder from Apple’s App Store and put the social discovery app on hold.

Wonder offered many of the same capabilities as Facebook’s recently introduced graph search, and the two companies sparred over how to define the app, with the social network regarding it as a search engine and noting that search engines could not access its data without permission, while the Russian company tried to paint Wonder as a personal assistant.

Wonder was not the only application to run afoul of Facebook’s policies last week, as the social network also forbid voice-messaging app Voxer and Twitter video-sharing app Vine from allowing users to find their Facebook friends.

Yandex said in a statement, as reported by TechCrunch:

We discussed the issue with Facebook and it was confirmed that Facebook views the application Wonder as something that violates the Facebook platform policies (section I.12), and that the access to Facebook’s graph application-programming interface will not be restored.

According to Section I.12, no data obtained from Facebook can be used in any search engine or directory without the company’s written permission. The reason behind Facebook’s decision to revoke our access to their data appears to be that they do consider Wonder to be a search engine, while our understanding of what it is differs from this view.

Wonder’s functioning, in its current state, as well as the quality of user experience it provides, largely depends on the access to Facebook’s graph API. Since this access was revoked, we decided to put our application on hold for the time being. We will be considering partnership opportunities with other social networks and services to offer our users a richer Internet experience via Wonder.

Readers: Which side would you take in this dispute?