Facebook News Apps and Others Enable Control over Auto-Sharing, for Fear of Losing Readers

Most news apps have some options for removing an article from your 'read' list

It's been a few weeks since Facebook's f8 conference and the launch of the upgraded Open Graph which includes so-called "frictionless sharing," i.e. automatic sharing of activity with friends, mostly via the newly-launched Facebook Ticker.

So far, the apps that have implemented the feature are mostly music services and news outlets, which were launch partners at the event.

There hasn't been a huge backlash against the automated sharing though, which may be explained in several ways.

Either users aren't noticing that it's happening, or they simply don't care. It may very well be that people are a lot more comfortable about sharing anything on Facebook than they were just a couple of years ago, as Mark Zuckerberg would have you believe.

Another version is that the apps that do include automatic sharing are either not getting enough usage to generate much of a backlash or have implemented ways of restricting and controlling what gets shared which satisfy what most people needed.

We know that Spotify, reluctantly, went this route and implemented a way for users to listen to their music, "in private."

By default, everything they listen to still gets shared with all of their friends, or the ones that they selected in their privacy options if they bothered to do that. There is the option of permanently disabling Facebook auto-sharing.

News apps, the new breed that debuted at f8, have a more spotty record when it comes to implementing some privacy controls for the auto-share features.

As part of Facebook's big media push, a number of publications debuted Facebook apps which enabled users to read articles on the site itself. These apps, by default, share everything you read with your friends.

But most have implemented or started implementing some sort of privacy controls, as Inside Facebook has determined. Interestingly enough, the reason why most have opted to give users a choice was that they were afraid they'd lose reads if they didn't.

Many users, knowing that their friends would see whatever they read, would simple chose to skip reading embarrassing or controversial articles. Being able to read them 'incognito' ensures that the auto-sharing feature doesn't prevent anyone from reading one of their pieces.

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