Do you live in fear of The Spotify-Facebook Combine surreptitiously letting the world know that you listened to Wrecking Ball on repeat for two hours that one time? Take heart – Facebook’s finally decided to end the era of third-party app oversharing.
Facebook – and I’m sure you do, too – makes the distinction between implicit and explicit sharing, which can maybe be better defined as auto-sharing and stuff you consciously share. It’s the implicit sharing that Facebook will be actively discouraging, as announced at their f8 developer’s conference last month. Facebook’s now getting the word out to a wider audience, letting all third-party developers – and the people who use their apps – know that there’s going to be more control in the hands of the users when it comes to sharing.
There’s always been a grey area when it comes to responsibility and implicit sharing. Technically, it’s all written down for you to read in third-party apps like Spotify – if you agree to X, Y, and Z, this app will post a bunch of stuff to your friends’ news feeds. Of course, this information often wasn’t presented clearly, and hey, people make mistakes and sometimes don’t read everything they should. The price paid was too high, either way – spamming your friends’ feeds (remember FarmVille? Now you do!) or divulging precious secrets, i.e. your Miley Cyrus addiction.
The changes are already being seen on Instagram, which has already done away with implicit sharing. Instead, after you take a photo, you’ll go to a sharing page where you can designate which social media sites you want to share the photo on, along with options to email the photo, copy the URL, or tag people. The auto-sharing era is over.
This is part of a broader effort on Facebook’s part to make mobile sharing more personal. In the coming months, you’ll also be able to paste content from third-party apps directly into Facebook Messenger and push Facebook notifications to your mobile device from a browser website giving you a one-touch way to download an app. The example given by Facebook for the latter was Rdio – when on Rdio’s website, you can send a notification to your Facebook profile that can initiate the mobile app download. There’s also a Like button for mobile apps that you’ll be seeing pop up soon.
Needless to say, Facebook still wants you to share, and share a lot. But, this is one happy circumstance where Facebook’s desire for ad dollars syncs up with something we all want to see, or, rather, see less of – a deluge of third-party app posts on news feeds. As for Facebook, by their own admission in their recent blog post announcing the changes, implicitly shared posts from third-party apps were being marked as spam at a high rate. That’s not really good for Facebook or you – putting an end to implicit sharing completely is pretty much a win-win all around.