Is Facebook Heading Towards An Overdose of Sharing?

Frictionless Sharing and SecurityWhile it’s true that a social network is all about collaboration and sharing, it still needs to comply with the golden rule that states excess of anything is bad. Till date, Facebook has served as a modern age example of how to get sharing right in a social network – just the right amount of information, presented in an easy to user manner and simple controls to turn things on/ off.

Recently, Facebook launched ‘frictionless’ sharing – a feature that simply allows you to read a story that one of your friends is reading. However, there’s a catch – if you’re not judicious, you may unintentionally end up letting others see what you are doing. Some users complain that it’s cluttering the site and diminishing the overall user experience of Facebook. Other simply say it’s creepy and should be rolled back ASAP.

While I’m all for sharing, I strongly believe that Facebook needs to do a better job of managing such changes. And here’s why.

Frictionless Sharing

First things first, I have no doubts about Facebook’s noble intentions behind offering a seamless and frictionless sharing experience for users. All in all, this is likely to enhance the overall Facebook ecosystem as it allows music and content creators to develop Facebook-specific apps that allow users to share what they’re listening to or reading.

Interestingly, CEO Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg believes this type of sharing is the future of Facebook as people are no longer interested in sharing just how you feel or what you had for dinner, this feature lets them share their interests more deeply with apps that bring in your activity from across the Web.

The Problem

While it sounds wonderful on paper, the whole frictionless sharing plan has several pitfalls. If you click on an apps-based link via your news feed, you can’t actually read the article until you add that publication’s app and start sharing your reading habits. So, expect to install lots of apps if you want to actively share stuff with your friends. Unfortunately, that doesn’t go well with most Facebook users – given a choice, they aren’t very keen to install apps just for the sake of knowing what their friends are up to. The worse part – you may not even know that due to this seamless sharing thing – you’re possibly communicating your activities in ways you never originally intended.


Unfortunate as it is, the frictionless sharing feature has reignited the whole debate about Facebook privacy. Though Facebook newsfeed allows users to hide all updates from a single app, there’s no way to hide all updates from the aggregated news list. Further, it’s muddy water for others to know what people are doing on sites outside Facebook, especially if they are a rather private person.


A lot of critics have come down harshly on Facebook stating that it’s wrong, it’s ruining sharing and that the new feature is annoying to say the least. In its current form, I think it leads to an overdose of information. However, I strongly believe that if Facebook can get its act together and simplify the whole frictionless sharing experience, it may well prove to be a game changer in the social media space.

What do you think of Facebook’s newly launched frictionless sharing feature? Do you think it leads to an overdose of sharing? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.

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  1. Robyn GovLiquidation

    Great post! I agree that there’s a little too much sharing going on. I just want to keep up with the basics, not every minute detail of my friends’ lives. If they read a good article, why can’t they just share it on their page? I’m still more likely to see it that way since I’m ignoring the clutter that’s accumulating at the top of my Facebook page.

    1. Douglas Idugboe

      Thanks @facebook-100001551852445:disqus for the compliment. Many find the ubiquitous stream of friends and pages activities tend to be a double-edged sword and greatly depends on who is holding that sword. Those activities could sometimes be clutter but could be a well of source of insight into what’s important and engaging your network. That, is goldmine. Again, it depends on who is holding the sword.

  2. TeMeka C. Williams

    I agree with a lot of what you said.  However, I also think that if you are a private person you should not use it or become an expert on all its privacy features…This is especially relevant for me because I have relatives who are professional athletes and they struggle with maintaining privacy boundaries all the time.

    1. Douglas Idugboe

      @facebook-100002000342527:disqus , the real control of our privacy is our responsibility and no others’. I know it’s easy for many to blame Facebook or any other Social platform for irresponsible sharing of information but all in all, it’s your responsibility to be private or public.

      1. Craig

        That argument only holds water if the platform involved is transparent in the way that it shares.  Which Facebook isn’t, IMO.

        To argue otherwise is akin to blaming the victim of identity theft because they didn’t shred their old bank statements sufficiently finely.

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  4. Anonymous

    Till date, Facebook has served as a modern age example of how to get sharing right in a social network

    Personally I disagree. It’s been a long long long time since FB had sharing right. Until recently they’ve at least been TRYING to get it right.

    If you click on an apps-based link via your news feed, you can’t actually read the article until you add that publication’s app and start sharing your reading habits.

    Exactly. Sometimes I see a Yahoo article and say hey I’ll click it. Four times I’ve done it, each time forgetting that I have to install the Yahoo App so I never bother googling the article. can’t be bothered.

    Alright fair enough FB used to make sharing very easy but they never had PRIVACY right and they’ve just thrown in the towel with that. At this point FB doesn’t really work right unless you’re the oversharing type. Privacy control is a nightmare. Say what you will about Plus they definitely from a design standpoint tend to err on the side of privacy. I’m not saying it’s perfect, or better but I like that a lot more than Facebook’s default no privacy unless you put a bunch of work in.

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