Russian internet giant Yandex is to remove its recently-launched app Wonder from the US App Store following Facebook’s block on its API access. Lanched on January 24th, Wonder was Yandex’s first US-only product, but Facebook started blocking all API calls from the app just hours after it went live. The voice-controlled social search app let [...]

Russian internet giant Yandex is to remove its recently-launched app Wonder from the US App Store following Facebook’s block on its API access. Lanched on January 24th, Wonder was Yandex’s first US-only product, but Facebook started blocking all API calls from the app just hours after it went live.


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The voice-controlled social search app let users ask questions like “what bars do my friends go to?” and get answers based on Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram and Twitter data.
Following Facebook’s block, Yandex issued a statement:
“We discussed the issue with Facebook and it was confirmed that Facebook views the application Wonder as something that violates the Facebook Platform Policies (section I.12) and that theaccess to Facebook’s Graph API will not be restored.
“According to Section I.12, no data obtained from Facebook can be used in any search engine or directory without the company’s written permission. The reason behind Facebook’s decision to revoke our access to their data appears to be that they do consider Wonder to be a search engine, while our understanding of what it is differs from this view.”
Yandex goes on to explain that as a result of this and because “Wonder’s functioning, in its current state, as well as the quality of user experience it provides, largely depends on the access to Facebook’s Graph API,” it has decided to put the app “on hold for the time being.”
Yandex notes in its statement, “We will be considering partnership opportunities with other social networks and services to offer our users a richer internet experience via Wonder.”
Founded in 1997, Yandex is the fifth largest search engine globally and Russia’s largest search engine, controlling more than 60 percent of the Russian market.
Similar to Google, the Russian search giant generates the majority of its revenue through online advertising, and offers multiple products from maps and traffic information to photo hosting and email.
Yandex’s market cap is $7.59bn while Google’s market cap is $248.28bn, about 32 times as large, and Facebook’s is $67.3bn, nearly eight times as large.

Wonder by Yandex Labs from Maxim Grinev on Vimeo.

http://wonder.yandex.com/