Facebook Strikes Back At iLike: No-Spam Policy Cancels Concert Alerts

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Erick Schonfeld
TechCrunch.com
Monday, November 16, 2009; 7:15 AM

Did Facebook finally unfriend iLike? It certainly looks that way. Facebook is restricting iLike from showing people's music data in their profiles (the songs and artists they like) or alerting them to upcoming concerts through Facebook notifications. The ban on notifications appears to be part of Facebook's recent moves to fight app spam. It is not clear what music data specifically will be pulled from profiles, but that could cover all the data iLike collects about users?their music preferences and recommendations.

Even though iLike is the top music app on Facebook, with 12 million active monthly users, the two companies have been on the outs ever since iLike was picked up for a song by arch-rival MySpace. The recent deal with Google Music to show iLike/MySpace Music results added insult to injury.

This morning some people with the iLike app installed on Facebook received the following notification:

Due to upcoming Facebook changes, your Music data on Facebook won't show on your profile and you'll stop getting concert alerts. Take this step to save your music data

To get around these restrictions, iLike is now asking for users' emails so they can send them concert alerts (which can be a very lucrative source of affiliate revenues) outside of Facebook. But routing these types of alerts through email is not ideal. People don't want app spam in their inbox.

The app inside Facebook is currently "taking a short time-out for maintenance." I have asked iLike, MySpace, and Facebook for clarification on the changes, and will update this post when I hear back from them. A few weeks ago, Facebook's Ethan Beard hinted: "We are making some changes to the profile. We think it should be a great place for users to accurately represent their identity." Perhaps this is related.

Update: This notification is indeed in response to changes in Facebook's developer roadmap, which will eliminate two of iLike's top features: adding music to a profile and personalized concert alerts. So iLike trying to get users to switch to email notifications (outside of Facebook's control) and new profile tabs. The policy changes are not targeted at iLike specifically.

A Facebook spokesperson clarifies: "We didn?t do anything specific to iLike as the headline implies, and alerts are not going away, they?re simply shifting away from their current channel to ones we think will be more effective for both users and developers."


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