I’m having a bit of a rough and uncomfortable week on Facebook. Are you one of those people who are lazy when it comes to signup forms, figuring “hey, I might as well connect to Facebook and let them aggregate all of my information”? Me too! I’ve never really valued the privacy of my personal information, I don’t have much to hide and a stalker or two might add a little spice to my life.
What I do have is over 1,500 Facebook friends, a percentage of which are nosy, critical, and always in the brush just waiting to pounce. Listen to the wrong song or read a weird article and you will see a commenter laughing at you about it within 15 minutes. That’s what happens when you have so many services connected to your Timeline. Activity gets nuts.
Maybe you like that though. Maybe you’re one of those people who are into breaking your life down so finely that you don’t mind broadcasting every waking second of your day to your friends on Facebook. So be it. Let me give you a hand.
Facebook integration is a big part of Spotify. You’re probably used to seeing Spotify spam all over your Facebook feed by now, so that’s nothing new. A lot of people don’t know about Last.fm‘s app on Facebook though. Last.fm precedes Spotify so I’m sticking with it. I’ve got a ridiculous amount of scrobbles and I prefer to download and play music over streaming it. Facebook’s Last.fm Scrobbler will allow you to do that.
The Last.fm Scrobbler will put your most recent scrobbles all over your Timeline. I still haven’t pinned down the exact algorithm or how and when it does this, but every now and then it’ll post one of your scrobbles directly to your Wall as well. If you’re scrobbling music 24/7, you’ll probably see 5+ posted to your Wall per day.
It doesn’t get much more invasive than having your entire friends list know what is in your ear at all times!
Though there are a lot of social reading apps on Facebook, these three are the powerhouses. With millions of users shared between them, now everyone in the world can know every article that we read!
I don’t have a problem with these apps at all, really. Looking at my friends’ recently read articles is interesting in both creepy and informative ways. It can go wrong for you though. If you’re a guy looking at an article about Miley Cyrus’ new boyfriend and that article happens to be on Yahoo!, have fun with explaining it to the guys. Digg is full of all sorts of varying content, too. Try to be comfortable knowing that any link you click out to on the Digg network is going to be streamlined right to your Facebook for everyone to see.
Sharing through Facebook Connect can be opted out of when connecting your account to Yahoo! or Digg. Bow to Open Graph, nonetheless.
Viddy has been described as the Instagram of video. One thing Instagram doesn’t do is announce that you’ve browsed certain people’s pictures on Instagram (and if it does, please inform me because that is taking it to another level). Viddy won’t give you that comfort though.
Videos that you watch on the Viddy network are posted to your Timeline. It’s not a big deal until you think back on all of those weird videos you’ve looked at on YouTube. Already I’ve witnessed friends on my list watching 8-second “fight video” clips and an awful lot of rump-shaking and dancing videos. I wonder if they know.
Now this one has me a little bit uncomfortable. I think Tinychat is really a great service. Open video chatting has been historically used for some pretty nefarious purposes though. I have a little story to go along with why this app has me on edge, anyway.
I’ve connected my Tinychat account to Facebook before, there’s no denying that. However, I recently went into a Tinychat room that a friend created. I wasn’t logged in. I joined the room as a guest. A few hours later, someone sends me a screenshot of my Timeline, showing that Facebook decided to announce that I was in that Tinychat room.
Being the one that ever connected to Facebook in the first place, I’ll call it my bad on this one. Either way, just know that everyone is going to know what room you’re in. How weird would it be to suddenly see two or three of your friends randomly pop up in a room thanks to Facebook? Come on.
Foursquare was just the start. In the coming years, our entire “real life” should be available and open for documentation online. Facebook and Open Graph are doing well in exposing the start of that. Love it or hate it, you can always avoid or disable it.
Let me know how you feel about these Facebook apps in the comments.