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4 Important Ways Facebook Just Became Way Less Annoying

Facebook's makin' some changes. In a note to developers, Facebook just banned a bunch of the most irritating things about the site.

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BuzzFeed reported last month that Facebook would be pulling back on what they called "frictionless sharing." It'll still exist in a very limited way, but Facebook's new developer rules are designed to keep unexpected sharing from happening at all:

In order to provide users with experiences that meet their expectations, we will no longer approve custom actions that publish stories as people consume content. These apps must use the appropriate built-in actions or create a different sharing experience. We are also deprecating a handful of features that led to low quality user experiences.

These are called "Authenticated referrals," and they're basically just roadblocks that try to make you install an app in order to visit a site from Facebook. (Example: You try to click a headline for, say, the Guardian, but instead of taking you to the newspaper's site it forces you to sign up for an app.)

Facebook admits they "create an inconsistent experience for people by asking them to give permissions in order to access content with little context," so they're phasing them out.

This kind of stuff, Facebook says, "generate[d] a high level of negative user feedback." Yes!

4. Less text, more pretty pictures:

"We’re making them more prominent in news feed and on timeline," says Facebook, because "image-led stories have shown 70% more clicks." Your newsfeed will look less like a wall of text, in otherwords. More Pinteresty, or Tumblry.

Contact John Herrman at

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