Facebook: A great app helps you share your data

As more and more people are worrying over what the data on their phone is being used for, Brett Taylor, Facebook's chief technology officer, has told Pocket-lint that the social network believes a great app is one that you'll want to use to help share your data in your Timeline and is therefore fully integrated.

"In general, our goal is to make sure the meaningful part of the experience isn't in the small print," Taylor explained. "When you sign up, the purpose of the integration is to add it to your Facebook timeline. It is not a side effect of what you do, it is actually the purpose of what you do.

"To our partners that implement this in a poor way, we want to work with them. But it isn't something you should be surprised by, it is something that you will hopefully seek out."

For Facebook, three apps that are getting it right are Spotify, Nike+ and Pinterest.

"A good example of this is Pinterest," said Taylor. "The idea with Pinterest is that it is all about self-expression and people really want to add it to their Facebook Timeline. If you spend a lot of time curating it on Pinterest it really makes your Facebook Timeline a richer experience."

According to Taylor, the goal of the open graph - a term coined by Facebook to describe your personal data on the site - is to make you want to make your Timeline better by adding different apps that share alternative data.

"If you don't want it, you shouldn't add it. It's a personal preference. For some people, music is their personal identity and for others it is just in the background and they don't want to share with friends. Those are two legitimate use cases." 

Facebook has quickly realised that this approach is the same for many different walks of life, Taylor says, including the recent surge in popularity of running apps.

"For big marathon runners, the runs they take are a big part of their personality and they want them to be a social experience." 

But does the Facebook big cheese use such apps himself? "I jog in the mornings, but I am not going to embarrass myself by people seeing how slow I run," he chuckled.



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