Facebook today launched a plug-in for Web app developers to use that gives people greater control over what activities of theirs are shared back with Facebook to be broadcast to their friends.
Currently, when people use apps like Spotify that are linked to their Facebook accounts, they have to go to Facebook to change the privacy settings if they don't want to spam all their Facebook friends with the latest song they are listening to. But if developers add the "Shared Activity" plug-in to their apps, users can control the privacy settings related to what is shared with Facebook from within the app itself.
"From the plug-in on sites such as Airbnb, people can set the default Facebook audience for activity shared from your app, or manage the settings for stories previously published to Facebook, including selecting an audience or removing it altogether," Facebook's Andrew Chen explains in a blog post on the the Facebook Developer's page.
The plug-in lists a person's activities published to Facebook from the app, including when the user hits "like" or comments on items.
"For example, when an individual uses a music app, she could modify the privacy settings, through the plug-in, for specific song listening activities, without needing to go back to Facebook to control what's shown," the blog post says. "Similarly, if a person, through a travel app, likes a restaurant or reviews a hotel, and decides that these activities should only be viewable to a select group on friends on Facebook, he can control this within the plug-in as well."
Otherwise, people can still go to Facebook and change the controls via App Settings, inline on timeline, and the Activity Log. The plug-in, however, does not control privacy settings for the app itself, Facebook said. And each site has to include the plug-in in its app for users to be able to use the feature.