This week, Facebook announced yet another improvement aimed at giving members more control over what gets shared on the social network.
Over the past few months, the company has introduced several updates to the way developers and members interact with Open Graph apps. The latest update, “explicitly shared actions,” will allow you to publish more prominent News Feed stories on behalf of individuals using your app.
Previously it was difficult to expand your reach as whether a story would appear in a friend’s News Feed would depend on the weight of the action, an individual’s relationship to the friend, and affiliation with the app or its category.
This also became a problem for people who want to share their app activity with friends. For example, when an individual chooses to share a check-in using Foursquare, he or she expects the content to appear as if he or she posted it directly to Facebook.
With explicit sharing, developers can now indicate which actions should be shared more prominently in the feed — such as checking in to locations or sharing user-generated photos. Ultimately, Facebook expects this change will drive more traffic to apps that people use to proactively share content to Facebook.
“Explicitly shared actions are eligible to appear as standalone stories in News Feeds and they’ll appear consistently on the left side of a person’s Timeline,” explained Facebook. Actions that occur naturally (listening, reading, watching), functional parts of game play (earning, building, and playing), and lightweight social buttons (liking, loving, saving) should not be labeled as explicitly shared.
If you want to make your existing Open Graph actions eligible to explicitly share, you will have to resubmit your actions for review — which can take up to seven days. After November 14th, Facebook will enable this functionality for all apps. We recommend taking a look at Facebook’s documentation on how to implement explicitly shared actions.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.