Now We’re Expected to Opt OUT of Social Sharing?
I’m fed up with mobile apps and websites using my Facebook network to promote their product, slyly. The current guilty parties in question are Socialcam, a video mobile app, and Newsle, a website that tracks stories about you and your friends in the news — both of which I love, BTW.
Big fan of Socialcam. I’m an active user and wrote a rave review about them on the blog last month. When you sign up and connect your Facebook account (how else are we going to find people we know to follow?) you are automatically following all of your friends who are using the same app. This isn’t new, it was a key move played by Pinterest that received very little criticism and is since becoming the norm. A recent update to Socialcam introduced frictionless sharing, something Facebook would like us all to get on board with. Suddenly, without notice, you are sharing every move you make on Socialcam to your Facebook newsfeed. This app has picked up a lot of steam lately so you may have noticed stories telling you what videos your friends are watching — and some inappropriate ones too. You don’t think your Uncle intended to tell you he was watching “High School Cheerleading Practice” did you? (Not my Uncle thank God). Every like, every comment and every view was now in your timeline. This can be turned off dear friends, from the website > settings and now from the mobile app right up top.
But why was it turned on for you in the first place? Once you turn it off you can expect Socialcam to push you regular reminders to turn it on.
The other far guiltier party is Newsle. A pretty awesome concept, I use it to stay tuned into great accomplishments by friends so I can cheer them on when they are quoted in a newsworthy article or get good press for their company. I wasn’t using it to tell my friends I was reading about my friends, without choosing to share something with my friends. Newsle emailed me today to tell me my friend Angie Goff was mentioned in an article by my friend Mark Drapeau. I clicked to read and twenty minutes later a friend IM’s me to chat about the article. WTF? Apparently she caught this in her newsfeed…
Oh hey, they even nicely tagged Angie in the post, yeah tagged Angie on Facebook. How thoughtful, right? BS. That’s like getting busted for stalking right there! The worst part? There’s nowhere — and correct me if I’m wrong — on their website that allows you to turn off sharing. I went to Facebook and removed the app and all permissions to make sure this doesn’t happen. Then, in testing, I noticed this…
See the Newsle bar across the top of the article? On the right it reads ‘read this privately’….Oh thanks. By clicking on it in the first place you’ve already sent it to Facebook, but hey if you click here they’ll delete it after only Some of your Facebook friends saw it. Nice. But click on that settings icon at the end and finally, there’s a way to ‘Turn Social OFF.’
I am aware that by connecting with Facebook I have given apps the permission to post on my timeline but to date this has been used when I choose to share something from the app to my Facebook feed. If users want to share their every move they should opt in to do so, not have to back pedal and undo what they never knew they were doing in the first place. Stop the madness!!!