Custom Open Graph Actions That Auto-Post Content Are No Longer Welcomed On Facebook

Ofacebook-logopen graph actions have been a boon to Facebook so far, driving engagement while increasing clicks and likes. However not all of the actions have been positive, such as auto-posted actions. Items that auto-post consumed content that aren’t a standard action have showed a lower quality experience and will will be going the way of the Dinosaur. Facebook will be axing all actions outside of an approved core that auto-post when the content is consumed.

Any new app submitted to Facebook with custom actions that auto-published won’t be approved any longer. Those apps that are using a custom action will need to move towards a revised list of approved actions within 90 days. The current list of authorized actions are the following:

  • Like – Any Object Type
  • Follow – Profile
  • Listen – Song
  • Read – Article
  • Watch – Video, Movie, TV Show, or TV Episode

Additionally, those apps that auto-post on your friends wall will be killed off. The auto-posting to friends have seen too many “hides” and “mark as spam” flags and that action will be depreciated. Here’s an updated look at what is and isn’t allowed courtesy of the new Facebook Open Graph Guidelines:

Scenario Allowed? Rationale
User browses content in the app. A story is automatically published back to the user’s timeline and to the news feed of friends that the person “browsed” content. No Automatically publishes when the user viewed the content on the site. Action (“browse”) refers to content consumption.
User browses content in the app and clicks a “browse” button. A story is published back to the user’s timeline and to the news feed of friends that the person “browsed” content. No Custom action for content consumption (“browse”) could confuse people into thinking they unintentionally shared something.
User browses content in the app and clicks a “want” button. A story is published back to the user’s timeline and to the news feed of friends that the person “wants” content. Yes There are clear controls to share back to Facebook. Action (“want”) is not related to content consumption.
User completes a level in a game and a story is published back to the user’s timeline and to the news feed of friends that the person “won” the match. Yes User performed action that triggered story. Action (“win”) is not related to content consumption.

The Facebook developer roadmap has been modified to show the precise depreciation dates for all Open Graph Items.

While the Open Graph news may seem rather negative, additional data was released showcasing the benefits of Open Graph utilized properly. Those Facebook posts with image-led stories have seen 70% more clicks and up to 50x more likes than from previous story types. The new location display (seen above) have also showed “double-digit” gains in distribution.

So look forward to less auto-posted content and more relevant, engaging Open Graph content in the days to come. For more information on the announcement see the official blog post.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Facebook: Open Graph


About The Author: Greg Finn is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that provides world-clasee social media and search marketing services and web & application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 10+ years and specializes in Digital Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

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  • Cory Grassell

    This is great news. So I no longer have to pretend to care when someone “checks in” somewhere?

  • Michael Lucy

    NOT GREAT news for people like me, who build custom apps to meet specific requirements .. i have been struggling all week with Facebook getting my app submissions rejected over and over and over again (never had this problem before) .. they finally issued me a warning today with a link to their revised policy (effective oct 10th) .. my social action is “create a qr code”, i am not spamming nor intrusively posting .. the good news is that the are serious about enforcing this policy , i just hope that everyone has to play by the same rules (i.e. ESPN, Yahoo, etc.)

  • Michael Lucy

    Thanks for this article – BTW – well written and GREAT content!

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