Sony has turned off Facebook integration on the PlayStation 4, meaning users can no longer link their Facebook and console accounts, the company announced in a terse blog post. As a result, users will not be able to find Facebook friends, share gameplay videos and screenshots, or use their Facebook profile photo as an PlayStation Network avatar.
“We apologize for any inconvenience,” Sony said, while going on to explain that you could use a stock PS4 avatar or upload a new profile image. Otherwise, the company provided no explanation for the sudden service cutoff, and gave no previous warning to users.
The move provoked speculation that it had something to do with Facebook data sharing changes in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, or Facebook’s recent post on eliminating Sony’s friend data access.
We’re working with Sony to finalize an updated contract designed to improve the Facebook integration on PlayStation. 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.
However, it looks like the situation might be temporary, according to a statement Facebook gave to Kotaku. “We’re working with Sony to finalize an updated contract designed to improve the Facebook integration on PlayStation,” a spokesperson said. “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.”
Despite this optimistic comment, something must have gone awry for Sony to dump Facebook so unceremoniously. The feature does make it easy to find friends and share game streaming clips, so losing it could inconvenience a large number of folks, given the reach of Facebook and 100 million-plus PS4 consoles sold. For the sake of those gamers, hopefully the issue will be resolved soon.