Facebook introduces explicit sharing for apps to reduce Feed spam

Facebook has started to restrict those annoying apps that auto-post to news feeds. Now you have to specifically share those posts that you want to share. This means that there will no longer be those annoying posts from apps such as Spotify or images from Instagram that flood your news feed. Apps now need specific, explicit  permissions in order to be shared.

The News Feed algorithm has changed to allow priority of posts that have been explicitly shared. Implicit sharing was a good idea but there were few apps that were written well enough to make engaging content in users news feeds.

The number of implicitly shared stories has declined as users have marked posts implicitly made by apps as spam. Less users marked posts as spam as implicit post visibility declined.  Apps in your news feed will only appear if they have been explicitly shared by your Facebook friends.

In a blog post Facebook explained its rationale for the change:

We’ve found that stories people choose to explicitly share from third party apps are typically more interesting and get more engagement in News Feed than stories shared from third party apps without explicit action. We’ve also heard that people often feel surprised or confused by stories that are shared without taking an explicit action. In the coming months, we will continue to prioritize explicitly shared stories from apps in News Feed over implicitly shared stories.

Developers now have the option to add dialog boxes to their apps such as the Message Dialog, or the Send to Mobile option.  The Message dialog embeds content from within a conversation thread on Facebook Messenger.

The Send to Mobile feature enables developers to encourage more app downloads.

The option adds the functionality for the mobile app to be installed when people log into the app website using Facebook credentials. 

If users request the app then the link to the app is sent to the mobile phone with a notification.

Clicking on the notification sends the user to the Apple App store or the Android Google Play store to download and install the app.

This is a good move by Facebook. Facebook is all too aware that users need to remain engaged with the Facebook page in order to see the advertising. If users are flooded with spammy apps implicitly sharing everything from the app, then users will turn away from engaging with Facebook. This could lead to a revenue drop – something which Facebook is determined to avoid.

Eileen Brown is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Connect with Eileen on Twitter and or contact her to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.


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