Recently, a lot of people have been frustrated by applications that inappropriately require you to invite friends. This generates a bad experience for both application users and their friends who receive unwanted invitations. We've been reading all your emails on the topic; there are even Facebook groups and a scheduled protest event devoted to the issue.
We've been working on several improvements to prevent this and other abuses by applications. We'll continue to make changes, but wanted to share some of what's new:
- When you get a request from an application, you now have the ability to "Block Application" directly from the request. If you block an application, it will not be able to send you any more requests.
- A few weeks ago, we added the ability to "Clear All" requests from your requests page when you have a lot of requests and invitations that you haven't responded to yet.
- Your feedback now determines how many communications an application can send. When invitations and notifications are ignored, blocked, or marked as spam, Facebook reduces that application's ability to send more. Applications forcing their users to send spammy invitations can wind up with no invitations at all. The power is in your hands; block applications that are bothering you, and report spammy or abusive communications, and we'll restrict the application.
- We've explicitly told developers they cannot dead-end you in an "Invite your Friends" loop. If you are trapped by an application, look for a link to report that "This application is forcing me to invite friends". Your reports will help us stop this behavior.
- We've added an option to the Edit Applications page that allows you to opt-out of emails sent from applications you've already added. When you add a new application, you can uncheck this option right away.
- Applications must now give you advanced warning if you'll need to invite friends to get information or access content. So you should always know ahead of time if that quiz you're taking will require you to invite friends to see your results. If you see applications withholding content without warning, go to that application's About page to report it.
We're always looking for ways to make Facebook even better. These changes should solve a lot of the problems you've been noticing. We're always listening to your feedback, so please continue to send in your suggestions here.
Paul leads the Platform Developer Operations & Support team.