What are Facebook Applications?

17 11 2010

Applications

What are Applications?  Applications are programs developed by Facebook and outside developers to enhance your Facebook experience.  They include games (e.g., Farmville, Mafia Wars) and features (e.g., Events, Photos, Birthdays, Gifts).  Applications developed outside of Facebook are supposed to comply with Facebook’s “Developer Principles and Policies”.  One of these principles is to “Respect Privacy” – remember the recent news story about Applications that were sharing Facebook users’ personal profile information.

To find Applications, go to the Applications Directory (http://www.facebook.com/apps/directory.php).  To learn about an Application, enter its name in the Facebook Search box and click on the Search icon.  When the search results appear, scroll down the list to find the actual Application and click “View Application” to specifically peruse the Application’s profile page.  Check out the Info and Review tabs, as well as anything else of interest.

When using Applications, manage your Application settings – go to “Privacy Settings” under the “Account” drop-down menu.  Click “Edit your settings” under the Applications and Websites section.  There is a specific option for “Applications You Use” where you can “Edit Settings”.  While you’re there, check out the other items in the list to ensure you are protecting your privacy.

You can also remove or delete an Application in the same section.

Applications are fun to use, and millions of Facebook users enjoy their games and features.  Be aware of the potential risk of unknowingly sharing your personal information with people and sites outside of your Facebook Friends.

Do you remember when you were a kid, and it was fun to play in the street in front of your house, but it wasn’t always safe if there were cars driving by?  So, have fun, and be careful at the same time.

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