The problem that the app Pinkinis was solving was an all-too-common one: You love it when your Facebook friends post photos of themselves at the beach (humana humana humana *loosens tie* oowwOOOga *makes squeezing gesture with both hands* daddy likey), but who has time to scroll through all their friends' photos looking for a few glimpses of exposed flesh? We've all been there.
Pikinis used image-analyzing software to scan through your friends' photos and surface any bikini or bathing suit photos for your viewing ease and pleasure. Now before you feminazis claim this is sexist, please note that it would also find male swimsuit photos as well.
Today, an email went out to their users announcing that the app will no longer function, due a change in Facebook's policy regarding sharing friend lists to 3rd party apps. Pinkins is removing itself from the App store until further notice.
Here is the email sent to users:
Dear Pikinis User,
As of last week, Facebook no longer permits you to share your list of friends with apps. We believe this information belongs to you, and you should be able to control whether, how and for what purpose it is shared. For years now, Facebook has allowed you to give permission to apps like Pikinis to access your list of friends. Importantly, Facebook has also allowed your friends to give or deny you permission to share the fact that they are your friend or their photos with apps. In other words, prior to last week, you and your friends had complete control around whether, how and for what purpose any information was shared. In fact, for years Facebook encouraged developers to invest millions of dollars building fun and valuable experiences for you using this information you and your friends have chosen to share.
On April 30, Facebook officially changed this policy. You no longer have this choice in the information developers can access. And Pikinis is not alone here. Many other apps have been affected by this global change in Facebook's policy. It is obviously unfair that Facebook encouraged developers to build applications around certain information you share, and then made it impossible for developers to abide by their promises to users like you. So far, neither Pikinis nor any of these other companies has been able to convince Facebook to change its mind on this.
As a result, since Facebook's policy change went into effect on April 30, the Pikinis app has ceased to function at all. We therefore have no other choice but to remove the app from the App Store, at least for the time being, until we can find a more permanent resolution to this matter.
We are very disappointed in Facebook's decision here. Facebook has stated at different times that the decision was made to give "users more control" or that the information was used "infrequently" as its justification for the policy change. Neither of these reflects reality. You and your friends now have less control over information that is yours, and judging by the response of other affected apps, it is not possible that this information was used infrequently, as Facebook claims. We want you to know we are doing everything in our power to protect our company's interests and yours. We are committed to playing our part in ensuring an open and fair application ecosystem on the Facebook platform.
Please be patient with us as we respond to your concerns and questions. We are truly doing everything we can to resolve this matter.
Thank you all so much for your support!
--The Pikinis Team
Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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