Beware of Autoposting Apps on Facebook

This is a warning to all Facebook users: beware of apps that automatically post on your behalf on Facebook. They are a serious threat to your privacy and your personal brand.

You’ve all seen posts from friends that say, “(Friend’s name) recently watched a video” on Socialcam. Or Viddy. Or a growing number of others. You may be tempted to watch it as well. What you may not realize is that these people didn’t explicitly choose to share their viewing with you. It was done automatically because they gave the app access to their profile, including the ability to post on their behalf. I’ve seen posts from prominent people of videos that are definitely inappropriate and not suitable for work. I’m sure they don’t realize their viewing habits are being broadcast. If they took the time to look, they’d be embarrassed.

Most Facebook apps are useful and fun. However, everyone should be wary of an app that says something like, “This app may post on your behalf, including videos you watched, videos you shared and more.”

These video sharing apps are growing rapidly. You’ve likely seen them start to take over your newsfeed. Socialcam recently got funding from a group of prominent players and has even been referred to as the next Instagram. It is not. It is a piece of software that hijacks individuals’ social profiles by playing on users’ desire for instant gratification and their “trust” in their Facebook experience.

If you’ve downloaded these apps, you should go into your settings and delete them and all their associated posts. If you really want to keep the apps, you can adjust your settings to allow only you or your close friends to view videos you’ve watched. The easiest way is to not download the app to begin with. So, as funny as that video looks, just say no.