Did Facebook really give up on auto-sharing? Kind of.

May 29, 2014


Facebook Gives Up on Auto-Sharing?

Facebook is giving up on auto-sharing; well sort of. Facebook is discontinuing the use of auto-sharing, for “explicitly shared stories” in your newsfeed. While Facebook says they have no plans of ending the “implicit sharing” done by third-party apps, due to the value of the data, they want to eliminate all the bothersome Instagram likes and Spotify listens that have been cropping up all over your News Feed.

Sound confusing? Well it is a bit. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had professed the desire to have everything you do, play, pin, visit, photo, listen to, or eat, shared in real-time on Facebook (do you remember his dream of “frictionless sharing,” perhaps?), which led to the launch of Open Graph in 2012.

While this can be useful, it can also be intrusive. In fact, many users were marking auto-shared content as “spam.” For instance, if you “liked” a photo on Instagram, your Facebook News Feed would show, “Jennifer liked this photo on Instagram” and show a preview of the photo.

Facebook wants to do away with this auto-shared content because their data analysis shows it was proving to be more annoying than useful to the majority of users. However, you can still share your Instagram photos, Spotify listens, and Pins, you will just have to manually click the “Facebook share” button each time. Not a big deal when you break it down, but it should help unclog your News Feed a bit.

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However, this poses a problem for developers

With the elimination of most auto-shared content, also is eliminated the steady growth to the app’s user base. If I am constantly using Spotify and it is auto-sharing content, my friends can see what I’m listening to and they will be likely to click on a song and be directed to the Spotify app to use it as well. You can still share this information, but now you will have to do so intentionally. (However, in the case of Spotify, it will still show up in the Music section of your profile).

It will take a little while to see just how much content is removed from our News Feeds, but I think it will be an improvement.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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