Facebook’s goal of getting you to share everything you do online is picking up steam.
The site has announced the launch of 12 new apps for Timeline, including collaborations with The Daily Show, GetGlue, MSNBC.com, and Pixable.
The idea behind these apps is to help Facebook community members discover new content that their friends are interested in and that they may want to read, watch, or listen to themselves. Once you’ve connected your Facebook account with any of the social apps, all the media you consume through the connected website or app will be automatically shared with your Facebook friends—unless you tell it otherwise.
It’s the latest expansion of Facebook’s Timeline, which was launched at its f8 conference in September and allows for passive sharing by music services like Spotify and Rdio, among other notable apps.
The attraction for media entities is simple: By having more of their content being shared more often on Facebook, they become more visible and are more likely to get traffic boosts. Some of the companies that already have Timeline apps include social Web browser Rockmelt and social news site Digg, the latter of which has received a 35 percent bump in page views since the launch of its social reader app.
Meanwhile, The Guardian’s social news app has been installed more than 5 million times and has helped the newspaper to reach a younger audience. (Half of the app’s users are aged 24 or under.)
However, there is a human cost to these apps.
It can be deathly annoying to see every single thing that your friends have read, watched, or listened to in your ticker or News Feed. This type of content can flood your feed and overwhelm it. Also, there’s the nagging feeling that you may be spamming your friends when you share your activity from these apps.
For me, there’s an easy solution to this. Instead of broadcasting what I’m reading with my friends, I keep that information to myself by changing my privacy settings.
It seems some other community members do the same thing.
“Even though I’m pretty much a social media AND news addict, I kind of get annoyed when I have to involuntarily connect to apps to consume. Do you? Random tip: I set them all to private so that only I see how much Kardashian news I consume. It also bookmarks links for me so I can come back to them later,” wrote Natalie Andrews-Wardel.
The Timeline apps throw up some other annoyances too. Amelia Nielson Stowell wrote, “I’m really bugged when links come up for super old stories because people keep clicking on them through their social reading friends, thinking it’s breaking news.”
Of the most recent slew of Timeline apps to be announced, social entertainment check-in and discussion site GetGlue is perhaps the one that’s the most natural fit for Facebook’s agenda of getting you to share everything. The difference with GetGlue is that, rather than passively sharing all the content you are consuming on individual websites with Facebook, you can actively check-in to topics. (GetGlue community members already have the option to share with Facebook, so this is simply an extension of the relationship between the two sites.)
For those who like to share everything they ever do online with their Facebook buddies, the newest social apps will let them share that latest funny thing Jon Stewart said or that awesome new video they found on BuzzFeed—without even having to think about it.
Photo by gregreihing