Tag - sharing

What every Facebook user should know about Facebook Marketplace and privacy

What should you know about Facebook Marketplace and privacy? The short form is, you don’t have any by default.

I was idly browsing Facebook Marketplace early this morning when a message popped up from a friend:

Send me the info as I don’t want an auto app on Facebook 🙂

My first reaction
What the heck?!? How did you know I was browsing an item for sale on Facebook Marketplace?

My next reaction
When I read the context, I wondered: why the heck did Facebook post a status update for me on an item I was browsing? Without my permission? Without asking me? Without alerting me?

Here’s the conversation that ensued:

It does, actually make sense
The answer of course, is that at some point, perhaps months or longer ago, I authorized Facebook Marketplace to do all kinds of things on my behalf.

These sorts of things:

Facebook Marketplace permissions and privacy settings

So … what’s the problem?
The only problem: I had totally forgot about that.

Worse, I had no idea when authorizing Facebook Marketplace to do all those things that it would post to my timeline when I was just surfing a listing! My assumption was that it would post to my timeline when I posted an item for sale … which I did recently.

Lessons learned
There’s a few lessons learned from this episode …

5 lessons for users:

  1. Don’t assume
    I’m tech-savvy, build websites, and run marketing campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Google AdWords, and multiple other places. But … I shouldn’t assume that how I THINK a Facebook app is going to use the powers I grant it is how it will ACTUALLY use them.

  2. Grant minimum privileges
    Don’t let an app do more than it needs to do, to get done what you want to accomplish. That may mean revisiting its privileges after enabling (since you cannot currently be granular about WHICH privileges you want to grant an app, when enabling it).

  3. Don’t install Facebook apps …
    … unless you absolutely have to. Why? Because they have access to your information and your status update and your friends and many more things … and they won’t always do only what you want or expect.

  4. Review occasionally
    Once every month or so, go over the list of apps you’ve enabled on Facebook. You’ll be shocked at what you’ve allowed. Trim as needed.

  5. Be careful what you visit
    Someone is always watching 🙂

3 lessons for marketers:

  1. Don’t require too much
    Go back and check what my friend says in the chat stream. He won’t visit the marketplace because he refused to install the app, which wants more privileges than he wants to grant. So limit the privileges to an absolute minimum. And, be certain you must have an app.

  2. Don’t do unexpected things
    You cross the creepy line when you do more than your users expect. And crossing the creepy line is bad for your business long-term.

  3. Inform users about what you’re doing
    If you’re going to share something, let them know! Give them a chance to reject it. Messages that they accept are going to be much more powerful, and you won’t alienate your users over time.

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On a related issue, this is why I haven’t (knowingly) installed any apps that autoshare based on activity. For me, it crosses the creepy line when you auto-share for a user that he or she visited a page or looked at an item or listened to a song. Perhaps even more dangerously for the social fabric of the web, it divorces sharing from conscious choice … robbing it of curation and value. This is why I don’t install the Yahoo! app, which autoshares stories its users read. It’s creepy, it’s oversharing, and it’s robotic.

Facebook sharing tools suck – here's how to fix 'em

Ever counted the number of clicks it takes to upload a pic or a clip to Facebook? Way too many!

Here’s how to make it much better:

It’s between 6 and 8 clicks, depending on how you go about it, and here’s the process:

  1. Click “Photo” in the Share bar
  2. Read the options, decide I’m uploading, and click “Upload a Photo”
  3. Click “Choose File”
  4. Hunt for my file in the file dialog that appears
  5. Click my file, and then click “Choose” (or doubleclick the image file)
  6. Click in the text area to add a note about the pic
  7. Click “Share” (assuming I’m not changing any privacy preferences)

That’s a LOT of clicks when 2 decades of computing has taught us to drag and drop files when we want to move them from one place to another.

It didn’t happen right away on the web, for a lot of good reasons, but Google Docs has been doing it since 2010. And there are toolsets available to make it happen easily.

So, Facebook: put a couple of smart engineers on it and lets see what you can do!

Whoa. Just tried to upload photos in Google+ and guess what … drag and drop is here:

Before the drag:

After the drop:

Immediately obvious features:

  • Drag & drop (duh)
  • Individual image upload progress reporting
  • Live image updating as images are uploaded

Very, very slick.

iPad needs social sharing features

I’m a sharer.

That’s why I’ve got a few thousand followers on Twitter, why I blog, why I save links to del.icio.us, post videos to YouTube, and so on …

So I need social sharing features when I surf … and I just got an iPad. Most social sharing is done through Javascript “bookmarklets.” They sit on your browser, and when clicked, take action: sharing, saving, or doing something else with the active webpage:

Mobile Safari lacks this, at least so far as I’ve seen:

You can add a bookmark, add a web page to the home screen, or mail a link (how 1990s!) … but I can’t yet find how to share it on Twitter, ideally with the Bit.ly URL shortening engine.

I’m not sure yet if they can be added, or if I’m going to have to move to Opera, or if Apple will update Safari.

All I can say is: there has be a better way than:

  • Tapping and holding
  • Selecting “select all”
  • Selecting “copy:
  • Switching to a new browser tab with Twitter active
  • Tapping and holding
  • Selecting “paste”
  • Writing a blurb about the link

If and when I find a solution, I’ll update this post.