Facebook Launches Shared Activity Plugin To Give App Users More Privacy Controls On Other Websites

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Facebook just announced a new social plugin that should cut down on moments that leave you thinking, “How did this end up on my profile?”

Thanks to Facebook’s Open Graph, users can automatically publish a lot of their activity from other websites and apps (like listening to a song on Spotify) onto their Facebook Timelines. However, if you weren’t happy with what got shared on Facebook, you’d have to go to Facebook itself to fix it, according to a new post on Facebook’s developer blog.

That will change with the new Shared Activity plugin. Now developers can add a widget to their site that will allow users to adjust their Open Graph privacy settings directly from that site, without having to go back to Facebook. It looks like the functionality includes adjusting the audience controls (so that your updates only appear to your friends, for example) and also deleting specific updates. Perhaps that will be the biggest use case — thinking, “Oh crap, I can’t believe I just posted that,” and immediately hitting the “x” so that the post disappears before anyone sees it (hopefully).

Here are a few more details and examples from Facebook:

The Shared Activity plugin lists a person’s activities published from your app to Facebook including Open Graph activities, Like button stories, and comment plugin activities. For example, when an individual uses a music app, she could modify the privacy settings, through the plugin, for specific song listening activities, without needing to go back to Facebook to control what’s shown. 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 plugin as well.