Facebook cracks down on developer spam

Facebook is tightening the tools it offers external developers to cut down on inappropriate actions

Three months after it opened its platform to outside developers, Facebook is taking steps to prevent some third-party applications from engaging in what the social networking company considers inappropriate actions.

Dave Morin, Facebook's senior platform manager, outlined late Monday in an official blog posting a series of changes in the capabilities it makes available to external developers.

In the blog posting, titled "Change is Coming," Morin states that the changes are designed to create an environment in which the popularity of applications is determined by how useful and entertaining they are.

For example, Facebook wants to stop developers from displaying big boxes in profiles that scream in capital letters messages like "ADD THIS APPLICATION!" to visitors, while hiding them from profile owners.

To that end, the latest release of the Facebook Markup Language -- version 1.1 -- changes how profile boxes display content, removing applications' ability to display profile content to visitors and hide it from profile owners.

"We did this so that the user is always aware of how they are expressing themselves to their friends through your application. This means no more yellow boxes that display 'Add this app!' in the profile box without the user knowing about it," Morin wrote. "We think this will help users make more informed decisions about the profile boxes they choose."

Meanwhile, this week, Facebook will shift how it measures application popularity in its applications directory away from total users and toward user engagement. "This will help inform users as they make decisions on which applications to add," Morin wrote.

The company will also remove e-mail from a notifications capability for developers to contact users who have adopted their applications. The reason is to crack down on what Facebook considers the spamming of deceptive and misleading notifications to its members.

Earlier this month, Morin posted a blog item about this problem, stating that Facebook had noticed developers misleading users "into clicking on links, adding applications and taking actions."

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?