On Thursday, Twitter launched Vine, a service that allows users to embed six second video clips in their tweets. It was awfully exciting, until Facebook disabled the service’s “find people” button, which had allowed users to connect with Facebook friends who were also using the app. Now, users have to manually search for friends on the Vine application itself.
This sort of move isn't unusual for Facebook -- or, for that matter, Twitter. The two have been feuding since this summer, when Facebook announced it would buy Instagram for $1 billion despite Twitter's reported prior offer, supposedly worth $525 million, for the photo-sharing service. Twitter responded to the snub by preventing Instagram users from syncing with their Twitter followers. Facebook followed up by making it impossible for Twitter users to embed Instagram pictures in their tweets.
Twitter and Facebook are certainly not the only feuding tech companies to try such tactics. In August, Craigslist stopped allowing search engines to index user's ads in order to try to defeat competitors like Craiggers. In early January, Google experimented with blocking Google Maps on Windows phones, although that experiment didn’t take. Though tech companies that block competitor's services may be looking to replicate Microsoft's infamous takedown of competing web browser Netscape, the tactic doesn't always work well, and often the only victims are the users.