Facebook plans to share even more of what you do online, according to a recent report, which claims that the same sort of activity sharing already familiar to users of Spotify, Washington Post Social Reader, and Hulu (and their Friends) will spread to other applications.
AllThingsD says Facebook will launch these Open Graph applications on Wednesday, having demonstrated some of them in September at its F8 conference. These sharing features have already been live in some apps since then, so what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that it’s one thing to broadcast a guilty Spotify pleasure to all of your friends, relatives, colleagues, and everyone else you “know” on Facebook, and quite another to tell them that you just read an unsavory story, as at least three of my Facebook friends did over the long weekend.
Reading that story is the equivalent of rubbernecking. Telling everyone you know that you were so interested in this article that you not only read it, but also wanted to send it to all of your friends is downright weird. And it’s about to get worse.
My three friends who shared the fact that they had read that story were using a popular social reader application for Facebook (I believe it was the Washington Post, although the link to that story appears to have been removed). WaPo is the only publication that’s doing this sort of sharing (and it’s about to launch a companion app for Android), but after Wednesday, all manner of services could start sharing your activity with your friends — and they can track it even when you’re not logged in to Facebook.
Did you win an online poker game? Hopefully, your Gamblers Anonymous sponsor isn’t on Facebook. Did you the ogle Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, or maybe even something racier? Hope your wife doesn’t mind. Or maybe you streamed an hour-long television special during the workday, in which case your boss might take exception.
When these apps launch Facebook sharing (full list below), they’ll need to do it carefully, because people — at least the ones I know on Facebook — are already sharing too much. And some of them are getting miffed:
If you’d like to disable sharing in applications, follow our simple tutorial.
Facebook’s September announcement indicated that the following applications would soon (i.e. tomorrow) start sharing actions on the social network, so if you use any of these, you could be affected by the news: