Why Does an App Need Access to My Friends List?

If you are like most people, you have probably seen a message like this when clicking on an app link on Facebook and wondered what it all means:

app-access-1

All apps will require basic information and your public profile in order for you you to use them.  The image pictured above is what is required for the 22 Social App that I use to host my webinars on my Facebook Page.

A common misconception is that by clicking OK you are allowing the app to see your Friends List and giving the app access to your Friends’ data. This is not true. By granting access, you are not letting the app search your Friends List (unless of course you have that public, then anyone can see it)for any users also using the same app.  If no one on your Friends List is using the app, the app will get no results. You are only giving the app permission to access a list of your friends that also use that app to enhance the social experience for the app users. This is usually a feature that works well with game apps so you can interact with your friends in the game who are also playing. In order for a person to show up in that list, both people must have given permission to share their list of friends with the same app during the login process. You can adjust your settings in either your about section (for all audiences) or under app settings (for just apps’ access).

There’s a section in one of my previous blog posts goes into details about how to change your setting on your Profile’s About Section. And Facebook has a great resource for those wanting to tighten up their app settings: Facebook’s Data Use Policy Regarding Applications.

Things like gender and birthdate are needed for personalization and/or security reasons.  For example, to make sure you are not a minor if the content is not appropriate for children, or to accurately refer to you as he/she or him/her.

If the app wants to post on your behalf (22 Social does NOT), you can easily manage that by simply setting the audience to only me like I show in this example:

app-permissions

If you have any questions about this topic that I have not answered here, please leave a comment below.

my_signature2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *