You probably know exactly what Facebook’s Open Graph is even if you think otherwise. Every time you see that one of your friends read a Yahoo! article or listened to a song on Spotify, you can thank Open Graph. It’s an annoying API that lets developers post these kinds of details to your Timeline with little, if any, notification. Facebook is about to change that.
Complaints have been rolling in and for once Facebook has somewhat listened. Users will now receive notifications before many Open Graph posts are published and you can choose whether or not to accept them. According to redOrbit, it’s part of Facebook’s commitment to quality Open Graph. Unfortunately, some of the biggest linked sites still might not notify you.
Improvement vs. Change
Facebook’s Henry Zhang recently released a statement on the many improvements to Open Graph. However, what’s really happening here is a massive change and overhaul in an effort to create a symbiotic relationship between users and their apps. Facebook is featuring new things, like the App Center, and doesn’t want to upset users.
Of course, the word “change” isn’t something Facebook wants to publicize. Using the word is too close to admitting to a mistake or fault in the business model or system. Instead, some critics say Facebook is playing it off as improvements in favor of users. These users are saying Facebook should own up to the past.
You Didn’t Even Know You Liked It
The worst part of the previous Open Graph algorithm was that you might not even know you were spamming your own news feed. Maybe you Googled “flex banner,” “start a movement,” or clicked on one of your friend’s “Between You and Me” posts. All of a sudden, your friends are seeing spammy posts from you on the app’s behalf. However, you don’t see it.
You have to view your own Facebook page to see just what kind of postings you’re really putting out there. Some people are embarrassed by certain posts and have no idea how they got there. Sometimes not even deleting all posts by a certain site really works. Hopefully, the new Open Graph will change that.
You’re Still Not in Control
You don’t get to choose what you consider quality apps even under the improved system. Facebook is in control of what are, and aren’t, quality apps. Only the sub-par apps will allow you to accept or reject a post. This isn’t much of an improvement.
If Facebook were to give users total control of custom apps, it would mean bad business for them. The truth is that more people are clicking on articles that their friends post. There’s nothing in it for Facebook to give up that kind of power. New Open Graph changes might help, but it’s still best to keep an eye on your own page.