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Facebook Blocks Yandex App for U.S. Market

Yandex is in negotiations with Facebook after the U.S.-based social network blocked the Russian search engine's newly launched Wonder app from sourcing information from Facebook users' pages.

The Wonder app, which Yandex's U.S. office released Thursday, is designed to provide American iPhone users with recommendations for what news to read, music to listen to and places to visit using information posted by friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare.

But just hours after its release, Facebook blocked the app from accessing information on its network, prompting Yandex to seek an explanation.

"We are discussing with Facebook the reasons for this so we can solve the problem. At present, new users trying to register on Wonder with their Facebook account receive an error message," the company said in a statement carried by RIA-Novosti.

Yandex representatives said that Wonder users who had managed to register before Facebook blocked the service can only access content uploaded before the blackout. Information from Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare is updating as usual.

Technology portal TechCrunch cited Facebook's platform policy as a possible explanation for the move to block Wonder, saying that it specifies that app developers "must not include data obtained from us in any search engine or directory without our written permission."

The move reflected "a trend of Facebook aggressively protecting its data," TechCrunch said, adding that the U.S. company had blocked Twitter's photo app Vine and messaging app Voxer in recent weeks.

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