Get Ready, Facebook Apps Will Ask for Your Permission Only Once

Facebook is redesigning the way users interact with applications, which no doubt will raise concerns from those seeking privacy and prefer approving permissions one at a time.

At Facebook’s developer conference today in San Francisco, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled what he is calling “real-time serendipity.”

The announcement will change the way that all users interact with applications, and what information will automatically appear in the new ticker feed that scrolls quickly down the right-hand side of the page.

Yesterday, Liz Gannes explained what Facebook’s new features mean and how they will promote a lot more sharing without clogging everyone’s main news feed.

Well, this is how over-sharing will begin to work.

Before today, applications commonly would request permission to publish a story to your feed one at a time. For example, “Zack just found a mushroom in Super Mario Brothers!”

The audience applauded the action since oftentimes these permissions can be slow and annoying, but without them, it will no doubt disturb people seeking privacy.

Now users will be asked to give permission up front when they start using an application, so all these little alerts will show up automatically. This is being called “frictionless” sharing.

Now when you listen to a song, it will appear in your feed that you have started using Spotify, or are playing a game.

CTO Bret Taylor explains, “Adding an app to your timeline is like wiring a real-time connection between your app and Facebook… There is no step two.”

Zuckerberg says this is the best way to discover new music.

Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek made an appearance on stage to applaud the actions, saying it will lead to more music discovery and ultimately more music sold.

This announcement is tied to Facebook’s announcement that it is now adding verbs to your feed, other than “like,” such as “read,” “hike,” and “want.”

So, on the “read” front, Zuckerberg announced relationships with Yahoo news, the Washington Post and The Daily, where users will be able to click on an item in the stream and read it within Facebook. “This has the potential to rethink the way we read news, but also the way the whole news industry works,” Zuckerberg said.

The open graph will also change the way games are played. “Social games are killing it,” he said. “They’ve been the most succesful apps on Facebook.”

So, from the activity feed on the right of the screen, you’ll be able to see that your friend just played a word in a game of Zynga’s Words with Friends. From the feed, you can click on the alert to open the game board and see the game play.

Facebook is working with a ton of game companies to enable the games for the open graph, including EA, lolapps, Wooga, Digital Chocolate, and Zynga.

Facebook clearly worked with developers in advance to create examples of using the open graph, but Taylor said other developers should be able to update their current applications in one afternoon.

Still don’t get it? Here’s a video:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik