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Programming Social Applications by Jonathan LeBlanc

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The Oversharing Application

The next use case we’ll look at is an application that abuses the user’s activity stream. Shamelessly pushing every action the user takes within it, the “oversharing” application promotes itself relentlessly through the news feed, where it’s visible to all of the user’s friends. Those of us who have used applications within a social networking container have undoubtedly come across such an example.

The problem here really occurs in the news feed items that are displayed to the user’s friends. What do we all do when we encounter continuous updates from an application that we have never seen before? Well, most users disable updates from that application (if that functionality is available) or from the user completely. In either case, this disables the application’s communication channel to a relevant user base, making it more difficult to reach new users. There are precious few channels available for application developers to reach potential users, so having a major one disabled can be detrimental to the application’s longevity.

Later in this book, we will talk about different sharing methods to help developers choose a solution that is right for them without overtaxing the user’s activity stream.

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