Facebook has launched a new Shared Activity plug-in, a tool that allows users to manage who sees what they are doing on Facebook-connected apps. “The plugin provides a simple solution for implementing the user controls required when working with Open Graph built-in actions,” says Facebook’s Andrew Chen.
The cool thing about this is that Facebook users control the activity they share on the social network from apps, without having to leave the app and go to Facebook to manage who sees what. Imagine surfing a site for Hello Kitty memorabilia and you’re a 30-something year old man and you logged in with your Facebook account. Yup, don’t really want that getting out so you check the site’s Shared Activity plugin, which is in the bottom left corner of the screen and you click “No one” on the drop-down menu of groups to share with. There, crisis averted.
This makes it easier for developers give users control without having to code them into their app. According to the social network’s documentation, developers can specify a size and typeface for the plug-in and then generates the code automatically.
Facebook users are able set the default audience (public, friends, etc) for activity shared from the app. The plugin does not however control privacy settings within an app, as developers are still responsible for that part.
The Shared Activity plugin lists a person’s activities published from your app to Facebook including Open Graph activities, Like button stories, and comment plugin activities. For example, when an individual uses a music app, she could modify the privacy settings, through the plugin, for specific song listening activities, without needing to go back to Facebook to control what’s shown. Similarly, if a person, through a travel app, likes a restaurant or reviews a hotel, and decides that these activities should only be viewable to a select group on friends on Facebook, he can control this within the plugin as well.