Friendthem Vs. Facebook: A Great Idea Stolen
Recent news of Facebook’s supposed new social media app that allows location-based friend requests has spread like a wildfire – though not to everyone’s delight.
They have called it Find Friends Nearby in some news – the thing is that this not exactly a Facebook original concept.
More than two years ago a social media app called Friendthem was developed.
The CEO of Friendthem, Charles Sankowich was infuriated at the fact that “Facebook is up to their old tricks again.” He said in a statement that he issued yesterday.
Only two months ago, I had the good fortune of talking to Charles about Friendthem. We did pretty in-depth coverage on the concept, the fact that it was patented and that they were the only ones who had the concept. He was elated that we were covering it and I was happy to be doing the story on a revolutionary concept that has the potential to become huge.
Our short chat yesterday was not a very happy one for obvious reasons.
“We believe that they simply stole trademarked materials of Friendthem. Ryan Patterson claims the feature was born at a hackathon.” He said.
Ryan Patterson, a Facebook engineer, introduced this as Friendshake at the hackathon – so, which name are they going with??
More importantly, above that of most social media apps – Friendthem has a soft spot for the privacy of its users; the company considers it a top priority.
In a short chat with Charles, I told him my theories on why the Facebook Find Friend Nearby bubble would burst.
Facebook has often been referred to as privacy challenged – it’s no secret that every time there is an update to the site, users have to go back and change their privacy settings to their originally desired settings.
Friendthem obviously has Facebook beat on its privacy emphasis.
“We are consulting attorneys,” Charles said in a statement. “Expect a lawsuit to commence a lawsuit very shortly. One would think Facebook would have learned to play fair after being through the mud previously with legal difficulties – but now they are doing it again.”
It’s very interesting to say the very least that Facebook would choose to go this route. Typically, if they are not the innovator of a brilliant idea, they simply just outright buy it out – like Instagram.
“We may not be billionaires, but we are damn tough New York entrepreneurs – and we believe in this idea and will keep working to connect people.”
There was no one available at Facebook for an immediate comment.