Facebook clamps down on Open Graph, better apps to result?

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Alongside the well-publicised App Center Open Graph, which shares app specific actions from users on their Timeline, is one of Facebook’s methods of enabling further app integration within the social network.

Now Facebook is changing things on Open Graph with the aim to give users a better experience.

The first element is modifying the Open Graph stories which appear on a user’s news feed.

As developer testing has revealed location and image stories are the most engaging, those stories gain more prominence on a user’s feed.

Henry Zhang, posting on the Facebook Developers Blog, noted that in early testing, image-led stories had generated up to 50 times the number of Likes than earlier iterations, with a 70% increase in clicks for “apps that provide high quality, relevant imagery with low spam rates”.

The other main issue Facebook looks to clamp down on is apps automatically publishing content, leading to lower quality user experiences that can “surprise and confuse” users.

“Starting today, custom actions that automatically publish back to Facebook as a person consumes content in your app will no longer be approved,” wrote Zhang.

Similarly, authenticated referrals are being phased out because of their “inconsistent” approach asking users to access content with little to no context as to why they’re being asked to access it, as well as the Post to Friend’s Wall option, because too many users were burying friends posting apps on their wall with ‘hide’ or ‘mark as spam’.

Developers have 90 days to alter these attributes, otherwise their app will be removed from Facebook until the modifications are put in.

Evidently, this is part of Facebook’s attempt to get “the highest quality apps”, but do you agree with how they are going about it?

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