Sony today disabled the ability for PlayStation 4 owners to link the game console to their Facebook account. That in turn disabled the ability to use your Facebook profile photo as your official PlayStation Network avatar, the ability to find friends using your Facebook friends list, and the share features that let you transfer gameplay videos and screenshots.
There was no warning of the change, and Sony’s terse blog post on the subject offered no explanation. Instead, Sony writes, “We apologize for any inconvenience,” and the company suggests using one of its provided video game avatars or uploading a new photo to replace your Facebook profile photo in the event you used that as the image for your PSN account.
The move abruptly ended a multi-year integration, leading to speculation that Sony no longer wanted to engage in a relationship with the social network or that perhaps there was an issue complying with Facebook’s more stringent policies around third-party developers accessing data on its platform. Neither, in fact, are the case.
According to Kotaku, Facebook plans to improve the integration, and Sony disabled it in the meantime while the two companies are working out a new contract. “We’re working with Sony to finalize an updated contract designed to improve the Facebook integration on PlayStation,” a Facebook spokesperson told Kotaku. “While these discussions are in progress, Facebook features will not be available on PlayStation 4. We hope to bring these features back as soon as our teams reach agreement.”
It sounds as if this was the not most ideal of arrangements. The Facebook integration was great for quickly uploading quick gameplay highlights to the internet. I often kept my Facebook share settings set to private, so I could edit and share clips and screenshots to my profile that could only be viewed by me. I would then save them to my desktop and share them elsewhere, like in Discord or on Twitter. I also appreciated the integration for letting my friends and I identify each other by our real names, instead of painfully dated PSN usernames. (Thankfully, Sony has since allowed us to change those.)
Hopefully, it comes back soon enough. Perhaps Facebook will act quick here, as being unceremoniously kicked off the platform was not, I imagine, how the company would have preferred to have updated its feature for the PS4.