Facebook to Make Apps More Annoying

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Facebook is getting in touch with app developers about changes in its app policy. Some of it is good news, but it looks like Facebook apps could get far more annoying in the not too distant future.

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The good news is that, early reports seem to indicate that Facebook will no longer allow apps a user has subscribed to to publish notifications (that is, the little pip on the bottom right that turns red whenever something of interest happens). Of course, with the move away from the clearly fairly lucrative notification space, most will realise that those Apps that really do make a nuisance of themselves (we’re looking at you Mafia Wars and Farmville) should become less annoying. That’s not the end though…

Essentially, rumour has it that Facebook is trying to convince the developers of apps that that some of its notifications to users would be better off if they took place outside the context of Facebook itself… which is to say, in your email inbox.

Of course, the big question is just how users will respond to twenty odd mails turning up in their inbox asking them to join a Mafia family or offering them a free cow. We’re thinking that it’ll take a very specific kind of user for that kind of constant updating to seem like a good idea, as opposed to a dreadfully scary one. Our inboxes see enough traffic before you start throwing notifications from apps through them.

The folks in Facebook are spinning it fairly hard as a positive move, saying that under the heading ‘Access to user email addresses’ that,

“To reduce friction and empower application and Facebook Connect developers to manage their relationship with users, for the first time, we’re providing a simple and safe way for users to share their email addresses with you.”

It’s a strange new world, but if you’re at all curious about how Facebook apps will be allowed to talk to you in the coming months, then you should definitely check out the post over at the Facebook developers’ page on it.

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