Frictionless Sharing is lube for your privacy… bend over and grab your ankles. Yesterday Facebook launched it’s new tool, Open Graph, that allows third party developers to share actions in your timeline. Sixty partners were announced at launch, no doubt many more will soon arrive. Take note because Frictionless Sharing is going to make Facebook sharing, and Facebook itself suck… a lot.
Frictionless Sharing Launches with 60 Partners
At least 60 new partners are already using Open Graph and Facebook’s new Frictionless Sharing; Pinterest, LivingSocial, eBay, Digg, Foursquare, Ticket Master, RunKeeper, Yahoo!, TripAdvisor and more. Their all listed over on Facebook’s Timeline apps page. So all these apps are about to assault your Timeline just like how Social Graph currently works with Spotify. The point of Frictionless Sharing is that these new apps will broadcast what they’re doing and inject it into users timelines. In short this means that when you use these apps they’ll be posting what you do all over Facebook. Soon you will start seeing what your friends are doing in greater detail. Expect to see things like “Joe just booked a vacation through TripAdvisor!” and “Pierce is watching Scrubs on Hulu.” Facebook is providing “verbs” in Open Graph Frictionless Sharing so third parties can more accurately describe what you’re doing online. Facebook’s take is that “adding an app to your timeline lets you express who you are through the things you do — your runs, playlists, films, trips, and more.”, to me it’s obvious it’s just more branding/advertising on your stream. (yes, I know Facebook is free)
Frictionless Sharing Will Make it Hard to AVOID these Apps
Here’s the kicker… as more people, and there’s near a billion people on Facebook, start using these apps what they’ll be “sharing” isn’t the link to the story, but a link INTO the app. Here’s how it’ll work. You’ll see that Mary posted what appears to be a fascinating article from The Guardian. However, it’s not a link to the article, it’s a link into the Guardian “app” and you have to allow the app permissions if you want to read the article.
Know what that means? That all YOUR friends will see that YOU read it too. That my friends is Frictionless Sharing. Facebook, the platform that made sharing so easy my mom could do it is about to ruin sharing for everyone.
Facebooks Frictionless Sharing ruins the last thing Facebook is good at
Think Facebook had questionable privacy policies before? So many unsuspecting users are going to be clicking through these things, and pretty soon their friends will be clicking through these things. What will be left is nothing but a bunch of generic messages splashed out there by apps. Instead knowing that John INTENDED to share a link because he thought the article had value, the app will do it for every article he reads. The point of sharing will become “pointless” as every app becomes the new Farmville… sharing crap out to your friends non-stop. The real value for users AND content creators is that Facebook users sharing something gave it the value of a word-of-mouth advertising; instead it’s going to become all generic. Sadly, this lessens the value for advertisers AND the consumers of the content.
If you’re brave you can find all the apps listed here. If you hate Timeline already you can find out how to clean up your old content here. Last but not least, if you’re already freaked out about Timeline privacy go here to learn how to get it under control. Or…. you could decide that this is really it and come join me over on Google+.