Facebook API Euthanasia Continues: Keeping Face.com to Itself

Adam DuVander, July 7th, 2012

FacebookFacebook is closing down the Face.com API for facial detection and recognition. It follows a long line of API euthanasia from the social network. Expect Face.com’s technology to be integrated into Facebook itself and the great domain name otherwise repurposed. As for Face.com’s 45,000+ developers? Sorry Charlie.

The well-timed weekend announcement hasn’t kept the natives un-restless, according to The Next Web:

The future of those products suddenly looks shaky – good quality facial recognition APIs don’t just fall off trees. On Hacker News, there are calls for an open source alternative, while developers are venting their frustration on Twitter.

On Hacker News the top comment explains the reason behind much of the developer frustration:

It’s their API, and they can do what they want with it – but I’m not entirely sure shutting it down is entirely in line with “we love you guys [API users], and the plan is to continue to support our developer community”, which is what they posted on their blog when the acquisition was announced.

A lot of people took this to mean the API was going to keep running.

There are a lot of Face.com API developers. The company touted that the API was free. A year ago we reported more than 20,000 developers had signed up. By March, the number had doubled. Every hackathon I’ve ever been to, it’s been a popular API to use, even if the company isn’t attending that event.

The base face detection library used by Face.com is open source, based on OpenCV. And there is a free, open source version compatible with the Face.com API planned by Lambdal Labs.

For those who want something off the shelf today, three of the 5 face recognition APIs in our directory are still around. The most complete appears to be the Betaface API.

Via Jean-Luc David

Tags: Facebook
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3 Responses to “Facebook API Euthanasia Continues: Keeping Face.com to Itself”

July 7th, 2012
at 12:44 pm
Comment by: Facebook Kills Face.com Face-Recognition APIs, KLIK app – PC Magazine

[...] how long until the Facebook Camera app benefits from KLIK's face-recognition capabilities?Facebook API Euthanasia Continues: Keeping Face.com to ItselfProgrammableWeb (blog)all 3 news [...]

July 9th, 2012
at 9:28 pm
Comment by: 10 Tech Stories To Read This Week – July 10, 2012 » iRomin

[...] API and what did the Facebook do after taking over Face.com? They have discontinued the API. Read another analysis [...]

July 24th, 2012
at 9:35 am
Comment by: New Face.com API Alternative Ready for Your Photos

[...] been a little over two weeks since the latest Facebook API euthanasia which saw the Face.com API shuttered. Among those disappointed by the API shutdown were the [...]

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Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.