Yo dawg, just a quick rant/thought about the Facebook Auto-share feature for apps that will be appearing in the coming weeks as apps adopt it.
Basically the idea is, for certain apps when you opt in they automatically share every video/article/etc that you look at on a certain site. Not only could that be potentially embarassing, as pointed out by Mashable but I argue that it hinders the overall user experience.
- On one side you have users even MORE paranoid about opting into apps, which lowers their acceptance of possible good apps.
- But then you just have utter crap filling up the increasingly cluttered and unfocused facebook stream. I cannot think of ANYONE, unless they are a psychic kick-ass web developer (who reads before he clicks awesome articles), that I would want to see every article they happen upon. Yes, some could be good. But the odds of that? Retweet or resharing has a purpose, the user actively chooses to share an interesting article.
This really is a step in the wrong direction, rather than helping users focus into educated suggestions on the internet (collaborative filtering). (Edit: See comments for a link shared by Cliff, its a discussion whether collaborative filtering is even wanted. Good read!) We are basically inserting others’ meanderings around the internet in the internet… just creating noise. No little doggy ear, top story feature, will protect us from the drivel, as its all a crapshoot. An intellectual farmville…
The only way I see this potentially augmented so that it is useful, is if there is a review layer. So as the user leaves the page, the app asks them to leave a review or rating, and choose to share. Which the prompts could get annoying… but at least cut down on the crap inserted in their friends’/followers’ newsfeed, or at least warn others if its crap. And perhaps give meaningful feedback to the site author.
At first I was surprised that Facebook is fostering this. As someone who has launched a Facebook app game, I know they are very guarded about automatic posting on walls (though mostly when regarding your friend’s wall). Honestly, I see it as them mining more user interactions, part of their now ultra-hyped up “SHARE ALL THINGS” (and save for analysis later) motto.
Needless to say I do not see myself adding any app to my timeline with this feature.