Rapleaf appears to have been dealt a major blow on Friday when Facebook announced it had banned the data broker from scraping its site for user profile information. While it's unclear how much San Francisco-based Rapleaf depended on Facebook data to generate revenue, getting cut off from the biggest source of social media data in the world looks like a bad business development.
According to a blog post authored by Facebook engineer Mike Vernal, the two companies reached an agreement that will delete all user IDs in Rapleaf's databases, as well as mandating that the data broker halts activities on Facebook indefinitely. Neither company is responding to requests for more information on the deal. In fairly vague terms, Vernal wrote that a data broker had been paying application developers for user IDs, but he did not state that Rapleaf was indeed the broker in question. He also revealed that the Palo Alto, CA-based social company had placed some developers on a six-month suspension due to their data sales activities.
Meanwhile, the Facebook engineer wrote: "In taking these steps, we believe we are taking the appropriate measures to ensure people stay in control of their information, while providing developers the tools they need to create engaging social experiences. We look forward to broader cooperation from everyone in the web community to confront issues that impact all of us."
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014