Have you lately been getting updates on news stories being read by your friends on Facebook? You’ve cursed under your breath when you faced the app, yes? Well, thank your friends for installing apps like the Washington Post and Yahoo! News and of course, welcome to the new “frictionless” world of Open Graph.
What Open Graph does
Things have changed since the Open Graph platform came to your favorite social networking site. Designed to make all your shares automatic, this allows Facebook and the publishers to know what you love reading, listening, and sharing with the world. And supposed to make all these “frictionless”, Open Graph is doing completely the opposite because the moment you want to read a seemingly great story featured at the top of your News Feed, there’s the publication’s Facebook app that appears and asks to be installed so that you can read the story.
It’s fast becoming an annoyance
This is irritating when you want to read and share what your friends are sharing. In other words, it breaks the continuity. With time, more content publishers will create more social apps that will eventually keep popping up on your screen. This makes sharing really cumbersome but more than that, its implications can be far more dangerous. Open Graph allows websites to gather interesting information about the news you like to read, photos you share, and the products you buy, thus laying bare your privacy. This is next to cataloging all your preferences, hobbies, and relationships by little gleaning bots in cyberspace, waiting in the dark to bombard you with targeted ads at the first opportunity.
Overdoing simple things?
Another place where Open Graph can go wrong is the way a story, photo, or video becomes viral. Open Graph can kill such a potential viral even before it becomes viral. The best way to share stuff is still the way it used to be done – just cut and paste the link because the joy of sharing stuff that you love is much more than installing some social apps on your profile page.
Image by Dylan Tweney via Flickr (cc)