Facebook for Dummies

by Charles Miller on February 8, 2008

Late at night, you see someone at the other end of the bar. They are talking to a friend of yours. They call you over. You say hello and offer to buy them a drink.

"Sure," they reply. "Just give me the keys to your apartment so I can move my stuff in. Oh, and introduce me to all your friends while you're at it."

This, in a nutshell, is how Facebook apps work, and why 95% of the time I get a notification from such an application I end up annoyed.

Most Facebook apps don't need any more information about me to function than my name, my unique ID and possibly a link to my profile photo. There is no need to ask me to make a commitment to any app I am merely visiting, nor is there any need to ask me to invite my friends, beyond the obvious observation that the business model for so many of these apps is based entirely on tricking acquaintances into spamming each other.

The whole model is broken. User-hostile, pyramid-shaped and broken.

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