Tumblr ‘Truly Disappointed’ That Twitter Revoked Its Friend-Finding Privileges

Twitter isn’t done with its efforts to take tighter control of its API — now Tumblr users can no longer search for their Twitter friends when they sign up on the microblogging service.

Twitter did the same thing to Instagram last month. And last week, it announced new restrictions to its API, which will make things especially tough for developers building consumer apps that compete with Twitter’s.

The change at Tumblr was spotted earlier today by The Next Web (basically the Twitter option disappeared from the “find people you know” screen), following a prediction from Buzzfeed’s Matt Buchanan: “It’s a (very) safe bet that Tumblr — essentially a rival social network-turned-media company — is next to lose access to Twitter.”

A Tumblr spokesperson confirmed the removal via email:

To our dismay, Twitter has restricted our users’ ability to “Find Twitter Friends” on Tumblr. Given our history of embracing their platform, this is especially upsetting. Our syndication feature is responsible for hundreds of millions of tweets, and we eagerly enabled Twitter Cards across 70 million blogs and 30 billion posts as one of Twitter’s first partners. While we’re delighted by the response to our integrations with Facebook and Gmail, we are truly disappointed by Twitter’s decision.

Twitter, meanwhile, just pointed to its initial statement on Instagram: “We understand that there’s great value associated with Twitter’s follow graph data, and we can confirm that it is no longer available within Instagram.” (I guess we’re supposed to just swap in “Tumblr” for “Instagram” in our heads.)

Looks like not everyone at Twitter is thrilled with the decision either. After the news broke, The New York Times’ Nick Bilton tweeted, “I don’t think people understand that Twitter is a start-up that has to make money, not a non-profit-up.” To which Twitter engineer Alex Choi replied, “I wholeheartedly agree, but this @tumblr business just stinks.”

[image of the old Tumblr “find your friends” page via Matt Buchanan]