Facebook has taken a lot of heat for its "open graph" system, which - in many cases - posts your non-Facebook.com activity to your friends' Facebook news feeds. Does everyone need to know exactly what you listened to on Spotify? Probably not.
Since first introducing this option last year with a host of high-profile partners like Spotify, Yahoo, Hulu, and more, the social network has taken steps to make it more obvious that your activity is being broadcast on Facebook. But apparently, not everyone is getting the message, so Facebook is now implementing some developer-level changes that will ban apps from automatically sharing your activity on the Facebook news feed.
"Starting today, custom actions that automatically publish back to Facebook as a person consumes content in your app will no longer be approved," Facebook's Henry Zhang wrote in a blog post.
Instead, apps must include built-in actions that keep users apprised of how their activity is being shared. "The user should be aware that publishing to Facebook is occurring," Facebook said. "This could manifest in many different ways but ultimately the user should not be surprised that Read actions are being published."
Ideally, you won't be surprised to learn that your entire friends list - including your boss - was made aware that you read a Yahoo news story about Snooki's new baby in the middle of the work day, or that you have been listening to Justin Bieber's latest album on repeat.
Facebook, meanwhile, told developers that users find stories with images and location data to be most engaging, so those will be made more prominent in news feeds and Timelines.
"In early tests, the new image-led stories have shown 70 percent more clicks for apps that provide high quality, relevant imagery with low spam rates," Zhang wrote. "In certain cases, we have seen these stories generate up to 50x more Likes than equivalent story types from before. The new location stories provide double-digit gains in distribution to apps."