Facebook adds more ‘frictionless’ apps to timeline PDF Print E-mail

Your Facebook friends already know what you like, read and even listen to. Now they’ll also be able to know what you cook, buy, watch, where you travel to and what you do to stay in shape.

The social networking giant rolled out some 60 new apps on Wednesday that will allow users to automatically publish information that will reflect many of their activities and interests to their Facebook timeline profiles.

These so-called ‘frictionless’ apps, created by outside developers for the likes of TripAdvisor, Gogobot, Kobo, Pinterest and Foodspotting, are currently only available to Facebook users that have already enabled the social network’s new timeline personal profile pages. Since Facebook will soon require all its users to update their profiles to timeline, which has been optional until now, it will soon be available to all users.

These new Facebook apps are referred to as “frictionless”, because they allow users to post their interactions with approved apps immediately, without any lag time. These apps also do not require the users to perform any additional action to share to the user’s Timeline profile. So for example, after adding an app and giving it permission to share your information once, the app could automatically do so in the future, without you having to approve each individual action. Examples of such frictionless apps that already exist on Facebook includes the Washington Postnews reader, which shares whenever users read an article on the newspaper’s website, and Spotify, which tells a user’s Facebook friends what song you are listening to.

“You can now enhance your timeline with apps that help you tell your story, whether you love to cook, eat, travel, run, or review movies,” explains Facebook’s Carl Sjogreen in a post on the official Facebook blog. “If you love to cook, you can add the Foodily app to your timeline and share your latest dishes. If your friends have added the Foodily app, you can discover new recipes with each other, as you’ll see their updates in the ticker and their timeline, and possibly News Feed.”

“Soon,” Sjogreen writes, “there will be apps for all types of interests, as more apps will launch over time. Whether you love snowboarding, gardening, hiking, or knitting, or something else, there will be an app for you.”

Those concerned about invasion of privacy and oversharing, can rest assured that this auto-sharing will only happen once users have decided to add and approve any of these “frictionless” apps. Users can also choose who can see their activity on an app, and even after adding an app, users will have the option to remove posts directly from their timeline.

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