If you didn’t watch Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook announcements last week — and of course the vast majority of Facebook users did not — you may be in for a surprise. Aside from the dramatically redesigned Facebook Timeline profile pages, which roll out in the coming weeks (and which I’ve grown to love), Facebook’s new system to auto-share what you do around the web may catch many Facebook addicts off guard.
In fact, even those people who know exactly how this new feature works may need to be on guard against sharing some seriously embarrassing updates.
For those not in the loop: Facebook is making sharing even easier by automatically sharing what you’re doing on Facebook-connected apps. Instead of having to “Like” something to share it, you’ll just need to click “Add to Timeline” on any website or app, and that app will have permission to share your activity with your Facebook friends.
What activity, you ask? It could be the news articles you read online, the videos you watch, the photos you view, the music you listen to, or any other action within the site or app. Facebook calls this auto-sharing “Gestures.”
Can you see the possible issue here?
I’m pretty familiar with this auto-sharing function since it’s been a feature of The Huffington Post for a good while now. The way it works there: Once you join the site, every article you read is shared with your friends via an activity feed (unless you switch that feature off).
So right now I can see that someone I know professionally read “Scarlett Johansson Nude Photos” and a male colleague, who will remain anonymous, recently read the following:
1. “Conan O’Brien Stares At Nicole Scherzinger’s Cleavage”
2. “Heather Morris On Breast Implants”
3. “Perrey Reeves Shows Off Bikini Body (PHOTO)”more