In under a month after Facebook took over the popular facial recognition technology service Face.com, the social media giant Facebook has now decided to kill the entire service by closing down its facial recognition APIs in the next 30 days. Although the company assured to continue supporting the developer community, it now appears to be a white lie after this unexpected announcement.
In an email sent to the developers, Face.com stated that it will no longer be able to support its developer APIs, as it is looking forward to collaborate with the Facebook team:
“We’re excited to move forward to work with all our friends at Facebook. Part of this process includes closing down other products and services that we are no longer able to support, and this includes the Face.com developers API.”
Currently, Face.com has updated the site with the following message:
“We’re working with Face.com developers to transition as we wind down support for our APIs”
Facebook has not only acquired a great service and an awesome domain, but also maybe planning to integrate Face.com’s technology into Facebook itself. The company had about 20,000 developers in 2011, and within a year, the number doubled with nearly 45,000 developers signing up.
This has left the developers devastated. Some of them are putting out their frustrations on Twitter, while some are craving for open source alternatives. One of the developers posted the following on Hacker News:
“I literally just finished a hardware project based on the face.com API. I want to be furious but I guess you can’t blame them for creating such a great product. I knew it must be too good be true, and free forever. It sucks though because this was just a side project for me and I’m not sure it’s worth the time to develop my own OpenCV system.
I’ll be checking out the alternatives and resources you guys are posting though, HN is great!
F*** you Facebook…”
This shut down also includes the death of the facial recognition app Klik, which is no more to be found in the App Store. The app users, which allowed people to tag faces in photos using Facebook, are given a deadline until July 20 to retrieve their photos, after which all data will be deleted.
In announcement on Klik’s site, “After this date Face.com will dispose of the data we collect in connection with your use of the KLIK app and will not be migrating data to Facebook. All your data will be deleted – no exceptions.”