Earlier this week we reported that users had been complaining about a certain feature from the app Path: namely, that its default behavior was to automatically send text messages out to people a user may know when they first signed up with the app. The Path app has now received an update that removes the ability to find Facebook friends altogether, and TechCrunch reports that it's due to Facebook restricting Path's access to its API. Users can still share any items they post to Facebook, but any friend-associated activity has disappeared.
The spamming behavior first went into effect with a March 6th update to the app. It gained traction when a digital marketer named Stephen Kenwright signed up with the app, and discovered that multiple individuals from his contacts received Path text notification early the next morning — even though he'd subsequently deleted the app on his own device. In that particular case, some of the texts manifested as robocalls due to the way local phone companies dealt with text messages sent to landlines.
It's not the first time this kind of thing has happened
It's not the first time Facebook has pulled the plug on the friend-finding API for an app. Something similar happened with MessageMe earlier this year, and everything from Vine to Voxer has faced similar problems. As it currently stands, the Path app allows users to find friends through three different means: their device's contacts, through Twitter, or via their Gmail account. It's important to note that during the sign-up process finding friends through one's contacts still defaults to the "send to all" behavior, and users will need to be cautious when signing up with Path to avoid sending alerts if that's not their intention. Finding friends via Twitter does not default to this behavior — though Path will send a Twitter direct message to any user you choose to invite.