back to article Facebook moves to cut down application annoyances

Facebook has changed its rules for developers to cut down on the myriad irritations which have afflicted it since it opened up to third party applications in May. The open door policy, while successfully castrating any potential rivals, has annoyed many social networking users who couldn't get along with MySpace precisely …


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  1. Dan

    lets us be thankful for small mercies

    does this mean the end of being constantly invited to become a zombie, pirate, be pimped, sent a virtual drink or become a jedi? thank fuck for that.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ninjas Vs. Pirates

    I'd like to see an end to the god-awful applications like Pirates, Vampires, Ninjas, etc. They create an awful spam on friends with constant bombardments for installations.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not use the ignore button?

    I discovered Facebook only a couple of weeks ago, and whilst I agree that the number of apps is ridiculous, I find that this is solved through judicious use of the ignore button and educating your friends not to send rubbish!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Invites are not spam?

    If you get invited by a friend to become a vampire or to answer their really important question, it's not really spam is it? It's coming from someone you've agreed to be linked with, even if it comes via non-Facebook servers. I'd like to see a privacy setting which prevents even my friends sending me rot like that.

  5. Andy Blackburn

    Block Apps?

    Surely another helpful addition to the site would be the ability to block certain apps for contacting you... perhaps with a list of "common offenders"?

  6. Matt Thornton


    This is a good start. For the millonth time, I don't want to be an arsing zombie and I couldn't give a monkeys about who would win amongst the jedis, pirates, gingers or whatever.

    Next step, though, is to remove the compulsion to add an application just to see the data on your friends' application. Take video, for example. If I want to view the video, why can't I just view the video? Why do I have to add the application (read: grant it permission to see my data) in order to do so? YouTube has no such compulsion!

  7. Craig Collier

    about bloomin time

    nuff said. Whats wrong with being able to say hello to your friends without knowing whether they like pirates and ninjas?

  8. Simon

    Too many

    Yes, my notifications inbox is filling up with invites to get me to install lots and lots of applications, all of them i now ignore.

    The mention on here (Comments) about a video application, yes, why do i have to install it just to view videos?

    And i really dont wish to see myself as a Simpsons Character to help promote a film (Flim Springfield!)

  9. Conway


    I wandered in here out of interest only to discover some sort of foreign language being spoken. I shall shuffle quietly toward the exit and hope no one notices me.

  10. Graham Jordan

    you think pirates were bad?

    Last night I had a notification some one had pissed on me. Nice. Where do I sign up for this useful application?

  11. bravura


    you could do the unthinkable (or so it seems) that I have be rid of all these annoying applications in one quick and easy movement by deleting your Facebook account.

    Funnily enough, I still have just the same amount of friends.

  12. N1AK

    RE: or...

    bravura: Yes posting insightful suggestions on a technology news site would be a much better use of your time... Now you just need to work on that insight.

    IIRC their is a way to block notifications from applications when you receive one, I have used it to silence those pesky Vampire / Werewolf / Superpoke annoucements.

    The problem is quantity of notifications, if 20 friends all invite you to add some crapware and you decline the first 5 Facebook should know your not going to say yes to the next 15 and save you the time.

    Ditto I'd probably prefer facebook advises me every so often of applications my friends use and they believe I am likely to want (probably none as I haven't added any so far).

  13. Adam Eastbury

    Simple option?

    A simple option to say that you dont want applications will do. A checkbox to say either I agree to being bombarded and want to add applications or Im not interested and just want the old facebook behaviour.

    Or is that far too simple?

  14. Danny

    Petitions & Polls

    Here's the problem...

    Those of us that have created applications *unashamed plug* Petitions & Polls (Search for me - Dan Offer ;)) for example, that create GENUINE useful additional functionality. I've spent quite a lot of time and money developing this - and wish I hadn't bothered. Facebook have been horrific in changing things, and limiting the scope of growth for those of us that have just released their applications.

    Only have one way really to promote their applications: invites/profile listings

    The problem is that many applications go out of their way to SPAM other users, using the "social proof" of the generate additional users. The only way to generate profit is (1) A large user base AND (2) Active users.

    Many current applications, lack the ability to CUSTOMISE and have inaccurate user notification procedures.

    The shere volume of "invite application spam" DEVALUES other applications that add genuine funtionality and are genuinely useful to users of Facebook.

    The general perception of Facebook applications by users has become "Oh no, not another useless Facebook application" - this has made it a problem for enterprising developers like myself.

    Furthermore, Facebook has had a tendancy to "steal ideas" and functionality of plugins (i.e. User Wall) of applications that people have spent time and money on creating their "plugin business" and integrated it within their portal. Rendering other peoples plugins useless.

    I was initially optimistic, with this application - opportunity, for both users and, my faith is wavering.

    *Shameless plug* my application:

    Petitions and Polls

  15. James


    "Take video, for example. If I want to view the video, why can't I just view the video? Why do I have to add the application (read: grant it permission to see my data) in order to do so?"

    You don't if the developer of the application chose not to make you do that. If you display my application on your profile, then anybody can click on the link and view or use the application.

    Another shameless plug: Perpetual Pixels

    It's a simple app - but it's a competition, and the winner gets to set the next game image. So if the game becomes popular, it gives the opportunity for some good exposure for the winners. It's just started and on the first round, so if you're on facebook: Perpetual Pixels

  16. Ian Aberle

    Replying to Andy, Matt, and Danny.

    <quote>Surely another helpful addition to the site would be the ability to block certain apps for contacting you... perhaps with a list of "common offenders"?</quote>

    Andy, you can block applications. When you go to that apps page, click on "Block" link under the "The Developer's Description." No longer am I invited to be a zombie, a pirate, or tell some one my fracking mood. Thank goodness I found this.

    Matt, I'm totally onboard with you about the having to add the app to see/use it in another profile. "You mean I have to add your question app to answer the question a user asked me. That's just stupid."

    The only app I have useful so far is "My Flickr" <>. Danny, I'm going to have to look at yours. It looks like it can be useful. Does someone else have to install it on their end to answer my petition or poll?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have to admit i like the Jedi application but then i am geek with sabre envy so hey ho :-)

    Although i have several applications on my profile some of which are just for fun for me and the rest for others they are all pretty useless.

    Daily bade is fun, for obvious reasons, that friend wheel gizmo is ok, some of those travel maps are useful but mainly its just all tat and trivia to make your profile less pedestrian, sort of like furntiure, pictures etc in your house but of less use and value.

    I personally hate all the bloody walls funwall, superwall, pr0nwall (i made that one up). I post on the facebook wall and i cant be arsed with the others. It would be ok if the funwall replaced the facebook wall and could cross talk to other types walls but they cant so they aren't much use.

    That poker app is addictive though and if not for the Jedi obsession i would never stop playing.

    I do sometimes wonder what actual people look like though as i only ever seem to relate through facebook now. Although that probably for the best as the last time i went out and poked someone in the arm and got slotted for my trouble.

  18. Danny

    Reply To Ian

    No...they don't need it installed.

    But that in turn, limits the potential growth of the application = a dilema.

  19. Brennan Young

    A 'decline all selected requests' button?

    I like the idea of a 'ignore all app requests' preference. Very simple. If I want to add an app, I'll do it because someone convinced me in some other way than a cold, impersonal 'spam-a-like' with one of my friends' pictures on it.

    And why do I have to click 'ignore' on each and every damn 'pirates and emperors' (or whatever) request I get. If I've said "Ignore" for a given app once, I mean it. I suppose Facebook should probably ask me "do you want to ignore all further requests for this app? Y/N" and I can get the whole thing done in one fell swoop.

    I'd also like some kind of checkbox beside each request, and a button for "decline/accept all selected requests".

    Finally, I think the choice of the word 'Ignore' was ill-advised. It sounds rude, and makes me wonder whether my trigger-happy friend is going to receive some uncouth automated refusal with my picture attached. "Decline" is more polite.

    Facebook clearly needs to hire some copywriters with good manners.

    They also need to realise that words like 'liberal' mean almost the opposite outside the USA. And what about ideologies like islamism, libertarianism, anarcho-syndicalism etc.? None of their listed political orientations are to the left of Obama Burak, or to the right of Gerald Ford, which frankly is an insult to the intelligence of most of the world's population.

    Finally, they need to realise that it is perfectly normal and even socially acceptable to know someone via assymetrical relationships like teacher/student, parent/child, guru/devotee, boss/worker, Dom/sub, project manager/contractor etc.

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