Facebook Finds New Ways Engage with Your Favorite Applications

facebook_523415a1In 2007, Facebook API launched a third-party application submission, whereby Facebook team has seen over 350,000 applications built on the Facebook Platform so far, in areas ranging from sports and games to family and education. These applications were built to accompany the core Facebook applications like photos, events and groups. In order to offer you a smooth experience regardless of what applications you’re interacting with on the site.

Here’s the changes that they’ve talked about:

Easier Access to Applications:

The applications menu will soon move from its current location on the bottom left-hand side of any page on Facebook to the navigation menu on the left-hand side of your home page. This way, you always can rely on seeing applications in the same place and easily interact with your favorites, in addition to discovering new ones. You’ll have the option to bookmark applications on the home page so that your favorite applications are only a few clicks away. You’ll also be able to see instant alerts from applications that you’ve bookmarked.

Facebook team will be introducing a new Games Dashboard and an Application Dashboard that can be accessed from the home page and will serve as destinations for you and your friends’ application activity. These will make it easy to view the latest applications you’ve interacted with, as well as discover new applications based on what your friends are using. You can also receive updates directly from applications here. For instance, if you’re playing a game of Scrabble with your friend, you can visit the Games Dashboard to find short messages about when it’s your turn to play, as well as interesting activity from games your friends are playing.

Direct Contact with Applications:

With these upcoming changes, you’ll have the option to share your email address with any application you use. If you choose to do so, you may be emailed notifications directly from any application. This new choice will give you the ability to control which of your applications can contact you and enable you to leverage the tools of your email inbox, such as folders and routing rules, to manage these communications. Also, if you no longer want to hear from an application, you’ll be able to simply unsubscribe from their mailing list.

The email practices they’re developing will be similar to signing up for or creating accounts on other web services, which is essentially what applications on Facebook are. When you do so, those services can email you directly to confirm a purchase, or provide newsletters or updates for which you signed up. Soon, you’ll have a comparable experience with applications on Facebook. Keep in mind that applications will never be given your email address unless you explicitly grant them permission, and like other websites you can always choose to unsubscribe if the service is no longer of value.

A Better Facebook Experience with Less Spam:

Allowing you to control which applications send you email notifications is just one step Facebook team  is taking to reduce spam and ensure you don’t receive unwanted notifications, requests or invitations through Facebook. They have responded to many people who want greater control over how and when you see stories in News Feed about applications. The upcoming changes aim to improve that experience, by enabling you to only see application requests and invitations if your friends have explicitly chosen to send them to you rather than have the application take that action on your behalf.

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Tarek is the founder and chief researcher at Youngberry, a youth research and marketing firm dedicated to the region. Tarek founded interactiveME.com and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), Bayt.com (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.