Facebook wants you to be stupid.

Facebook clamps down on third party UIs for a very basic reason: Those UIs will inevitably enable functionality which they don't want you to have, because it makes other people less comfortable using the system, and they've crippled the web UI in ways which make people on the whole happier.

First and foremost Facebook doesn't want you to be able to see when people view your profile, for the simple reason that you don't want them to be able to know when you look at theirs. Scams frequently claim to deliver this functionality, for the simple reason that it's highly desired and completely unavailable. Granted alternate UIs wouldn't be able to offer this functionality, but it's a deep issue for projects like Diaspora.

Beyond that, Facebook doesn't want people to feel like they can stalk each other. First and foremost there, its chat system doesn't have the ability to record when your friends join and leave. It would be trivial to add such functionality, but it would make people feel like others had too detailed of a historical record of them, even though the information is already there in principle and only limited by the end user's ability to remember it. Likewise, the time of posts is fuzzed out, first to a minute granularity, then to the hour, and finally to the day, and times of likes isn't kept at all. People simply don't want others to be able to track their movements to the minute quite so easily.

Finally, there's the ability to delete posts. Obviously a client-side cache could simply keep all posts you see and remember them, and any custom client would undoubtedly do that, but people like being able to delete posts, for a variety of good reasons, and want others to be forced to use their own frail human memory to get back the content. Likewise you can hide comments that you make from your main feed, so even people who are permissioned to see them will have a harder time noticing them, and relationship status changes, which are impossible to hide, can be 'hidden' in the sense that people aren't actively notified of them.

Does Google+ want you to be stupid? That remains to be seen...
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