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Facebook Limits Applications' Linking

Doug Caverly
Staff Writer
Published: 2008-01-02

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Facebook applications can be bad enough when they're upfront about their identities; getting tricked into installing them is the last thing (aside from various privacy violations) that any user needs.

So Facebook is addressing this problem with some new restrictions on developers.

"Starting today, we'll begin blocking links in Mini-Feed, Notifications, and Notification Emails which lead to the installation of another application in the hopes that developers focus on user experience and engagement being paramount, not deceiving users for the sake of growth," wrote Dave Morin in a post on the official Facebook Developers blog.

This seems like a pat on the back for honest developers and a simultaneous slap at devious ones.

A public outcry has been, if not nonexistent, at least impossible to find.

The move won't, of course, save users from their friends - if ol' Bob wants to toss silly invites your way every day of the week, tough luck.

But it should cut down on some of the less well-meaning spam, and is guaranteed to earn Facebook a few points on the "good intentions" front.

In fact, while covering this development, Nick O'Neill noted, "Facebook has imposed a number of restrictions and has slowly clamped down on spammy activities available to application developers."

He later continued, "The new announcement by Facebook underlines their continuing dedication to battle spam both within applications and elsewhere on their site."

It's a pretty decent way for Facebook to start 2008.

Our compliments to Morin, in particular, for making his blog post after 6 PM on New Year's Day.

Now the company will just have to keep up this trend, and be very careful not to repeat the privacy-related mistakes it made in 2007.

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