It’s time for one of my favourite angry posts on the Social Utility That Could.
Facebook recently announced a new developer policy for applications publishing content to the Mini-Feed (which filter up to the global News Feed depending on quality.) The News Feed is the default page upon login, while the Mini-Feed is the area on your own profile, where people can see the recent things you’ve been up to – like changing your “Looking For” status to “Random play.” I no longer have the “random play” option myself; apparently at some point in the past, my employment or affiliation with the IBM or RIM networks triggered a flag that says that since I’ve worked for the man, I apparently no longer can openly advertise my desire to engage in non-committal, promiscuous activities.
Either that, or it read my “Male at the University of Waterloo” details, and summarily decided that my interests could not possibly contain meaningless, playful contact with the opposite sex. I’m amazed I wasn’t forced into looking for “like-minded friends who enjoy a spot of anime, ramen noodles and debating .999=1.” Instead of “random play”, I have to settle for the much less scandalous “networking” option, which my good friend Phil promptly mocked:
Networking is now an option in looking for?! Christ what’re you gonna do walk up to a chick and be like “hay can i interface w/ ur data p0rt lol if u get wut i mean kekeke”
I would not be surprised if someone at UW has actually tried this as a pickup line, although a much more likely attempt would involve LOLcats or the ORLY owl.
The long and short of this new Facebook policy is that applications can no longer report passive actions, such as users receiving new posts on their installation of SuperFunLuckyHappyWall. (Now with bonus Zwinky!) Observe:
Rather, the new policy indicates that only actions taken by a user should be published. So if you posted a new Happycat using Internet Meme Generator 2.0, then it’d be fair game to see “Jake posted a new Happycat image macro” in the Mini-Feed. This should hopefully help clear up the state of items such as “Forty-seven (47) of your friends sent a Wet Willy to one another.” Facebook’s not naming names, but the two biggest offenders are Slide and RockYou. It should be a bit more pleasant to see things cleaned up.
As an aside, you can still find my favourite applications to block if you’re interested in improving your experience.