It never fails: At least once a week, you see an unfortunate or otherwise eye-popping story that one of your friends is reading, or a less-than-work-safe video that one of your friends is viewing, pop up as an activity on your Facebook feed.
For everyone on the outside, it's hilarity; for the user in question, who might not even know that he or she just shared his or her interest in less than fully dressed people with all those Facebook friends, it's a bit embarrassing. You can thank Facebook's "frictionless sharing" apps for that - which you might be familiar with (or, worse, unfamiliar with) if you've agreed to allow apps like Socialcam or the Washington Post's Social Reader to access your Facebook account in any fashion.
Here's what usually happens: You watch a video or read an article, and the fact that you did so is instantly shared with all of your Facebook friends. You might have the chance after-the-fact to remove the particular post from your timeline - if you remember to do so - or otherwise disassociate the app with your account.
What's more likely to happen, however, is that you just do what you're used to doing on the Internet already: Checking out content without a second thought. To Facebook, however, the practice of apps instantly sharing what you're looking at runs contrary to the best user experience they'd like to showcase.
In other words, times are a'changing for these "frictionless" apps.
According to a Wednesday blog post by Facebook's Jeff Bowen, a member of the company's platform team, an app's, "built-in watch and read actions can only be published after someone engages with the content for 10 or more seconds." In other words, no insta-posting - an especially helpful change for those who accidentally click on a link and would prefer it not be blasted to their entire Facebook audience.
Additionally, Facebook apps must clearly inform users that the app will publish these "watch" or "read" actions on a user's behalf each and every time a user clicks on a related link. No surprises - even if a user has already allowed an app to post directly to his or her news feed.
"Finally, provide users with the ability to remove any video stories that your app publishes to Open Graph, and the ability to turn this sharing on or off at any time," reads Facebook's "Publish Awareness" section of its "Watch" action. "The selection/choice made users on their sharing preferences should be persisted."
When it debuted, the frictionless sharing option prompted detractors to argue that Facebook had ruined sharing. But in an interview with Charlie Rose, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg said this type of sharing is the future of Facebook.