The move to shutter Face.com’s facial-recognition products comes less than a month after the social-networking giant announced its acquisition of the company.
Less than a month after Face.com was acquired by Facebook, the social network is shutting down the facial-recognition software company’s APIs.
The software company made a splash in 2009 when it released Photo Tagger, a free third-party application for Facebook that uses facial recognition technology to automatically tag photos of people, as well as a recognition-based alert service for Facebook. In 2010, Face.com released an open API to the public that allowed third-party developers to incorporate the technology in their apps.
However, according to an e-mail reprinted by The Next Web, Face.com representatives have begun notifying developers that the APIs would be closed down within a month.
“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,” reads the message.
Also, the facial recognition iPhone app Klik has been removed from the App Store. Users of the app, which allowed people to tag faces in photos using Facebook, have until July 20 to retrieve their photos.
“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,” reads an announcement on Klik’s site.
The move seems to run counter to promises made on June 18 when the acquisition was announced. Face.com founder Gil Hirsch said in a blog post that day that the merger would allow it to offer “more opportunities” to build products.
Now, lots of developers use Face.com technology to power various apps and make wonderful products. We love you guys, and the plan is to continue to support our developer community. If there are new developments you can expect to hear from us here, on the developer blog, and through our developer newsletter.
Reaction to the shutdown was mixed on Hacker News, where users were discussing developing alternative services.
“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 commenter named “objclxt” said in a post. “A lot of people took this to mean the API was going to keep running.”
CNET has contacted Facebook comment and will update this report when we learn more.