Sorry, we cannot support uploads sent via email. Upload photos from your iPhone with our free application, Facebook for iPhone:
This is the message that I now get when I try to use the Facebook feature of emailing photos to my account. For a long time, I have emailed an alias on my domain which forwards on to both Flickr and Facebook, get to get photo into both places at once.
My blog brings in these photos from Facebook using Fotobook. Now I can longer use this workflow. Instead, Facebook wants me to stop using the “open” import mechanism of SMTP, and instead wants to force me into the mobile walled garden of the Facebook app on the iPhone. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Facebook iPhone app is fantastically produced by Joe Hewitt, and I have no beef with it at all. I just don’t like being forced into one workflow which will then only work with that one provider. Facebook, by taking away a feature, changed the entire game.
Open protocols give us the ability to develop our own patterns, and tweak the implementation over time. When blogger (and others) allowed us to abstract the implementation behind DNS records, it felt better (as well as being able to export the data out).
There are advantages to the walled garden though. I have been really worried about seeing Facebook Connect buttons shown up around the Web. The UX for FB Connect is very nice indeed, which is why I was so worried. The majority of people won’t choose the Open platform purely because “they should”. Open needs to compete on its own rite.
This is why I was so pleased to see Open Connect:
We need to do this quickly, as people will only put “one” of these on, and it should be the open meta platform.
I think that there is a place for the browser to help out here too, as I have mentioned before. If you login to the browser once, and we agree on the protocols, the browser can do the handshake for us. A great UI….. none at all.
Time to “make the Web better” instead of how Facebook tries to “make a better Web”.