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Thursday, Aug 22, 2013 3:38pm
Facebook changes app permissions to minimize wall spam
Facebook has changed its permissions requirements for third-party apps, adding a new dialogue that specifically asks users if they want an app to post on their behalf. The move addresses a common criticism of the previous login procedure, which gave a single "all-or-nothing" choice for permission to access the user's data, post on their Timeline and send messages to their friends.

"Although Facebook Login is widely used, we understand people’s concerns about apps posting on their Timeline or to their friends," the company said in a statement. "For the past several months, we’ve been rolling out a new version of Facebook Login on mobile to address these concerns."

Although automatic wall posts were designed to simplify sharing, many users have been annoyed by the number and extent of Timeline posts and messages to friends. The social network initially added the ability for users to block applications from sending participation requests, or to block all posts that are automatically generated by a particular app.

Spotify came under fire several years ago for automatically publishing a wall post for each track a user is listening to, however the company later added its own "private listening" mode that blocked the automatic posts. Other apps had forced users into inviting friends, however this behavior currently runs afoul of Facebook's developer rules.

"Don’t want to share your music playlist or workout routine with friends? You can choose to skip sharing altogether," Facebook wrote in its comments about the latest changes. "Clearly separating sharing means people can decide whether they only want to use Facebook Login for fast registration without also sharing back to Facebook. If you want to share later, you still can."