Pinterest blocks API and breaks third-party Windows Phone apps

WP Central

Readers alerted us to the disappearance of Pinsation, a third-party Windows Phone Pinterest app, from the Marketplace. While it has almost become the norm for apps to mysteriously vanish from public view without explanation, it was odd to see such a well received app disappear when apps with familiar functionality remain.

We contacted the developer of Pinsation, Daniel Gary, for any details surrounding the disappearance and were told something that sounded awfully similar to issues we've covered previously. According to Gary, Pinterest has locked down their API to prevent access from third-party apps on any platform other than iOS.

There problem occurs when you try to login to the service using Facebook or Twitter. In short, you'll receive and authentication error telling that there was an issue logging you in. The app spits you back to browsing the Pinterest site but you are unable to do so logged into an account (we imagine authenticated accounts, done by invite only, may still work).

Gary also mentioned that developers are working together to try and find a solution to this issue. For the time being you may encounter problems when attempting to use Pinterest apps on Windows Phone (or other platforms).

We'll keep you guys up-to-date with any further information we receive / find out.


Reader comments

Pinterest blocks API and breaks third-party Windows Phone apps


"Pinterest has locked down their API to prevent access from third-party apps on any platform other than iOS." Yup, sounds like another apple fanboy dev to me... Which makes it even more of a shame that MS is not bringing more of their own properties either exclusively to WP or with better functionality. Oh well, rock on haters!!

Seriously, that is effed up.
I'd be surprised if the dev hadn't also cut off his nose to spite his face.
Ridiculous iFanatics.

I'd be interested to understand the technical specifics and maybe help out. If the author is reading this, ping me! (Twitter: @WithinRafael)

Why not just roll up a competitive alternative for WP7 and say Android and completely ignore them all together?  

I honestly hate all of these devs that lock down their API's.  If they want some for of enforcement, have a signup portal, were Devs can register for an API key, and then allow them to adhere to a Terms of Service agreement, so you can have more users.  I just don't get it.

Why doesn't MS use that $$. Actually, we could blame MS for not pushing their might hard enough. Money talks!

I'm sure MS is rolling their eyes again on this one, but they can't fix everything overnight by throwing money at it. I'm sure Instagram and Pandora are higher on their list. Plus MS has other priorities like, for example, WP8.

I don't use Pintrest, but for the sake of increasing the variety of apps available, I hope they can work something out!

If you have already logged into the app, it will continue to function normally as long as  you do not log out or uninstall/reinstall.  The access_key that it retrieved will continue to work for the forseeable future.

Are they sure it isn't just Twitter's stupid Oauth support which has been horrible lately? 80% of my logon requests to twitter through their api have failed the past two weeks. At first I thought it was the library I was using so I wrote up an authentication mechanism from scratch that still had issues. The fix seems to be to sleep after requesting each token so Twitter can keep up : (

There doesn't seem to be any reason why a non apple app would alienate everyone else from using their product. Its not like there is a charge to use it. Weird and retarded marketing angle.

Alot of us have discussed this very issue.  We aren't sure what Pinterest's problem is, but they have clearly built the API to be used by third party apps, but then locked it down with no indication when it will be made available again.

"developers are working together to try and find a solution to this issue"
What does that mean? Doesn't seem like working together at all to me. Why not leave the API as it is while this "working together" is in progress and come with a solution. Locking down the API out of the damn blue sounds to me like they don't want it used on this platform.

And hence the reason I have/will never use an Apple product. Proprietary bullcrap. Guess it's filtering down to their developers now. Never used it. Now I will be sure I never do. Same for Pandora and all the rest.There is always an alternative.

Well one thing is for sure, Windows developers are the best. You guys always find a way to hack, circumvent, rewrite, develop a workaround solution better than any other. I'm sure you guys will figure it out.

Apologies for bringing facts to this discussion but that's just the way I roll.
Pinterest doesn't currently have a public API ( pinterest support ) so all the Pinterest apps out there, on all the platforms, have knowingly been using an unsupported API.
Likewise the assertion that "Pinterest has locked down their API to prevent access from third-party apps on any platform other than iOS" isn't correct either. I've just had a poke around on iOS with the APIs docs that are floating around on the web and they're 404ing as well.
Whilst it's not particularly sociable of Pinterest to block access. They are just as likely to be doing this in order to maintain the stability of their service as they are indulging in top hat wearing, moustache-twirling evil.
No one's picking on Windows Phone here.