Facebook Applications: Silliness, spam and spoofs

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Social Media  |  Worst Practices  |  Facebook

Is it just me or have Facebook applications become too damn annoying?


Don't get me wrong. I think Facebook is terrific. I love when someone I know from a past life friends me. Or better yet, I am thrilled when someone who has read my book or heard me speak live connects via Facebook. I've got Facebook friends from all over the world (keep the friends requests coming folks).


As much as I like Facebook, I'm just not into the third party applications thing. I find the applications that require some sort of reply to be particularly annoying. So-and-so wants to "network using business cards" and this one "dedicated a song to you" and that one "asked her friends a question". The problem with these things is that they require action on my part. So I think of them as sort of spam-like. Sure it only takes a moment to click the ignore button, but these things seem a little outside the scope of Facebook, at least the way that I am using it.

Am I being overly harsh?

There are now 4,500 Facebook Applications, the vast majority developed by people who do not work for Facebook. In fact, this is a very hot area for Venture Capitalists to put money these days. There are sites that review and recommend applications. It's all very new and we're all learning as we go. But I predict a backlash against some of the more annoying applications.

Facebook is great for connecting. But I don’t see it as a game. I don't really want to know "What My Stripper Name Is" (Note, if you're actually a stripper, this switches to "What's Your Internetweb Geek Name") and I don’t want to use BoozeMail to "Send your friends a drink (or even a round of drinks) on Facebook." Although, I must admit I'm rather intrigued by NaughtyGirls "Get Naughty. Send very naughty gifts and very naughty messages to all of your friends."

And here's something really creepy to really gum up the works. Today I got a Facebook Application spoof email. It looked exactly like a typical Facebook request email, but when I moused over the URL, it was some dodgy address somewhere, not Facebook. Ugh.

Just when we figured out how to deal with comment spam and trackback spam, we’ve got to deal with Facebook app spam.