Facebook Disconnect: MS apps thrown under a bus in Graph update

But it seems Windows Phone 8.1 is hardly affected

Facebook Connect – a feature which Microsoft used to integrate Facebook data with Outlook and Windows phone 7 and 8 calendar and contacts – is no longer available.

According to a recently posted support note:

Facebook has made an update to its Graph API that will impact Microsoft apps and services. Facebook’s Graph API is the tool that we use to connect your Microsoft account to Facebook.

The change means that contacts in Outlook.com and the Outlook Social Connector will no longer synchronise and update with Facebook data.

The Office 365 Outlook Web App will no longer synchronise with Outlook contacts. The Windows 8 and 8.1 People app will no longer get Facebook synchronisation and updates.

Windows Phone 7 and 8 users are also affected, but only if they are relying on Facebook integration with the OS rather than the dedicated Facebook app.

When Microsoft released Windows Phone 8.1, it was already moving towards relying on a separate Facebook app, and this app has a “Connect with my phone” feature which is able to update calendar, contacts and photos. For those already using this, it looks as if the change will have little impact.

Facebook integration was one of the key features when Windows Phone was first released in 2010, differentiating it from other smartphones, which had to rely on Facebook’s own app. The People hub aggregated data from multiple sources, including Facebook, and you could “like” activities or post updates directly.

This development is in part Facebook’s initiative in tightening what is available through its Graph API, and partly Microsoft’s decision to make both Windows Phone and the app environment in Windows 10 more like other mobile operating systems, where you install social media apps rather than relying on built-in features.

Microsoft could perhaps have done more to keep Facebook Connect current, but has moved in a different direction. ®

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