Starting from the 1st of January, Facebook will block links in Mini-Feed, Notifications, and Notification Emails which lead to the installation of another application. The announcement made on the Facebook Developers blog hopes to focus developers on user experience and engagement rather than deceiving users in an attempt to grow the popularity of their apps.
Ever since Facebook opened its social networking site to third party developers interested in building applications for it in May 2007, they have been battling deceitful and abusive practices. The main irritants are self promotion features in applications such as bulk unsolicited emails and intrusive message displays.
Facebook has gained immense popularity as a platform for sharing content through the social graph / news feed. They have gradually opened up the limits on notifications, requests and email communication.
However as with all new technologies there are those who choose to abuse the system for their own benefit, in this case by sending notifications to users for an application that the user has not installed via another application installed on the user account.
Other application developers have deceive users by putting links in the Facebook news feed, notifications and notification emails that lead to the installation of a different application in a similar way, thereby tricking users into installing an application that they did not intend to.
In the New Year Facebook has made a “resolution” to block all such abusive practices. This of course is not a foolproof system, as friends can still send silly invites to each other. The safeguards will however reduce the amount of spam, and hence will win Facebook back some points with the privacy police, points that they had recently lost due to their over-ambitious Beacon advertising program.
According to Nick O Neil at AllFacebook.com, “Facebook has imposed a number of restrictions and has slowly clamped down on spammy activities available to application developers. The new announcement by Facebook underlines their continuing dedication to battle spam both within applications and elsewhere on their site.”