Facebook’s New Follow Action Keeps You Up To Speed On Users’ App Activity Right In Your News FeedBy: Josh Wolford - June 28, 2012
It’s possible that your News Feed is about to become much more crowded/informative, depending on how you feel about a massive influx of new stories. Facebook has just announced the follow action in Open Graph apps, and it’s sure to populate your News Feeds with tons of stories from the dozens of Facebook-connected apps users currently use every day,
Of course, that’s if you want to see a bunch on user app activity in your News Feed.
Facebook’s new “follow action” in Open Graph apps is pretty simple. As a developer, building Facebook’s follow action into your app allows users to follow other users of your app, whose updates related to your app are then pushed directly to the follower’s News Feed, Ticker, Timeline.
“Content a person publishes within your app will be displayed in the follower’s News Feed even if they aren’t Facebook friends. People can control who sees what they publish through the privacy settings of the app,” says Facebook.
Let’s say a restaurant review app integrated the new follow action. I could Facebook follow any user of that app and their reviews would start showing up on my News Feed. I wouldn’t even have to open said review app.
Here’s how the process will work for someone who choose to follow another app user:
This will show up on the user’s Timeline:
And they’ll also receive a notification:
And here’s how it will look on the follower’s Ticker and News Feed:
Here’s what Facebook is telling developers:
Starting today we will no longer approve custom follow actions. Apps that currently use a custom follow action must migrate to use the built-in follow in the next 90 days. We have updated the Platform Roadmap to reflect this change.
It’s pretty obvious that it’s a win-win for Facebook and developers. Facebook gets more stories to potentially use as ads and developers get much more visibility of their apps directly in the News Feed. For users, it all depends on if you’re the kind fo person who care to have a bunch on new app-related stories populate your feed. If so, “following” app users is a great way to never miss an update. If not, well, then it would just be clutter.