You might have noticed that Facebook is up to a couple of new tricks these days. In addition to the timeline update, Facebook is letter your friends know what you’re listening to, reading, and doing on a regular basis. All of these updates come to you through the new Facebook Open Graph apps. These apps have sneakily slid into Facebook timelines throughout the past couple of days, and many users are considering allowing these apps to access personal profiles.
Facebook announced today that more than 60 open graph apps would be appearing throughout the next few days. These apps will let your friends know more about you (and what you like to do), which will, in turn, bring a much more personalized outlook to your timeline. These apps will prove to be fun to use – and you can brag to your friends that you read, did, listened, or saw it first.
Quickly clicking on an app and allowing that app all permissions is easy to do. But, you should take a few moments to read what those permissions include. Otherwise, you could wind up spamming your friends unintentionally. How? When you allow most apps to access your Facebook page, you are allowing those apps to post comments and updates on your behalf. This effectively allows a company to advertise through you, and it’s a good way for marketers to reach out to a wider audience (chances are, if you enjoy an activity, some of your friends do too).
If you decide to give apps permission to post on your behalf, take the time to set up friend groups. This way, you won’t be spamming your boss or colleagues with talk about your latest workout. Setting up grounds with the new Facebook timeline is easy, and this process only takes a few moments to complete. Essentially, the new open graph apps will provide marketers with lots of information while also letting your friends know what you’re up to. If this doesn’t sound like a good deal to you, skip the open graph apps. You can also delete an app at any time. If you have a moment to spare, it’s an interesting experiment to click on your Facebook page and see how many apps have permission to post on your behalf at the moment (most people have a few of these, at least).
The Future of Facebook
Will Facebook turn into one large advertisement? This is a valid concern that many users are currently voicing. With the addition of the new open graph apps, your Facebook newsfeed will start to look a lot like a giant advertisement if you aren’t careful. Right now, Facebook allows users to opt out of apps, but this may not be the case in the future. Even though Facebook hasn’t said that some apps will stick around, one has to wonder if this will be the case.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see where the open graph apps lead. If you spot a number of apps asking for permission to post to your wall, consider who will see these postings before you approve the app. Also, keep in mind that you only need to grant app developers permission once, but these apps can post on your behalf many more times. If you haven’t seen the Facebook open graph apps yet, keep your eyes peeled: these apps will be rolling out in large numbers over the next few weeks.