Is There Even One Decent Facebook App?

If there is, I’ve never seen or heard of it.


I’ve largely come around on Facebook as the only efficient way to keep up with people who don’t share my love of things nerdy.  That includes about 99% of my friends and every member of my family over 13.

The fact is that Facebook is simply inevitable.  Resistance is both futile and isolating.

But Facebook has a huge problem.  No it’s not the fact that Microsoft saved Facebook from itself by taking the bait and grossly overpaying for Skype.  It’s the apps.

It’s the fact that none of them are worth a crap.  I have spent far more time filtering out stupid Facebook apps than I have using them.  In fact, I have 74 apps filtered out of my Facebook stream.  The list grows constantly.


From Hearts to Hugs to Best Friend Quiz to Egg Buddies to anything Ville to Mafia Wars to various sweepstakes.  None of it is worth a crap, and all of it is junk.  Unless I want to become a mouse clicking zombie in service to some developer’s bank account, not one of them benefits me in any way.

It’s the fact that it seems like most Facebook apps  are malware.  I am now conditioned to look for a warning- “Do not click on this or that”- whenever I see an appish-looking post in my Facebook stream.  Facebook apps have the same trust level as links in spam.

It’s the fact that, even if an app is technically not malware, you have no idea what it can access, and what it, in turn, discloses and to whom.  You have more privacy at a nudist camp that you do on Facebook.

In sum, the entire Facebook app ecosystem is broken.

It needs to be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up.  There’s just no way to salvage any kind of trust out of the chaos that Facebook has created.  Facebook needs to take a page from Apple’s book and worry about protecting its users, not serving them up as fodder to scammers and shady apps.

It should happen.  But until people vote with their filters, it probably won’t.

4 thoughts on “Is There Even One Decent Facebook App?

  1. Do your research, you know exactly what a facebook app can access. When you “install” an app on facebook it enumerates the permissions it is requesting.

  2. Originally I read your article in my RSS Reader, thanks to @LouisGray:twitter , and fully understand what you want to say. But: for Zynga and other game develepers the Facebook ecosystem works pretty well. It is like a virtual cash cow.

    No doubt all these apps are a junk with no value. Unfortunately users are very afraid of the apps. We have built the ConcertIn app ( and learned that only 19% of all users accept the extended permissions dialog before they add our app. It is such a behavior pattern. So we had to redesign the app a bit and now we are hoping that we will be able to get the trust of Facebook users.

Comments are closed.