In April 2018 Facebook announced a number of changes to its Platform Product and its Policies. Included among these announced changes was the deprecation of the publish_actions permission, which granted apps access to publish posts to Facebook as the logged in user. This was the mechanism that allowed SocialToaster to update a user's Facebook timeline with a single click from within the SocialToaster share notification. Developers using the publish_actions permission were encouraged to switch to Facebook's Share dialog.
The impact to SocialToaster is that an additional sharing confirmation step was required--one which uses the native Facebook Share dialog for the web. The net result is that users who wish to share to Facebook must now go through an additional confirmation step that uses this Share dialog to ultimately publish to their timeline.
Why Was This Necessary?
Facebook was under siege as a result of the data and privacy concerns surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and consequently announced a significant number of sweeping changes to its Platform Product. The deprecation of the publish_actions permission is thought to have been as a response to 3rd party apps posting content to a user's timeline unbeknownst to them and without their permission. By requiring users to approve a sharing action through the native Share dialog, Facebook can ensure its users that only content that they expressly wish to publish will be done so.
What Does It Look Like?
The change to the sharing process introduces an additional step that launches the native Facebook Share web dialog and shows the user a preview of what is going to be posted on their behalf, giving the the option to confirm that they actually wish to publish it. The users clicks the Share Now button in the standard notification like usual, then sees the Facebook Share prompt confirming the share action. After they confirm they are then taken directly to the content as usual. The following shows what the revised process looks like:
Share Without Comment
The user receives the request to share is received and the user clicks "Share Now" like before.
The content will be shared to all of the user’s connected network, except for Facebook and Twitter.
If the user has their Facebook or Twitter account connected, they will be taken to an intermediate screen. This screen lets them know which networks the content has been shared to, and also allow them to manually share this content to Facebook and Twitter.
If the user does not have their Facebook or Twitter account connected, they will be taken directly to the content.
|The user clicks the “Share” button in the “Share to Facebook” section to manually share the content to Facebook.
|Once the button is clicked, a Facebook popup will appear that will allow the user to manually share the content to Facebook. Once the user has shared to all of their connected social networks, they will also redirected to the content.
Share With Comment
|The user receives the notification as usual but chooses to "Share With Comment"
|The user is taken to an intermediate screen that displays all of their connected social networks, and allows them to write a comment and share to each individual network.
If the user would like to share to any network except for Facebook or Twitter, they can write their optional comment in the text box labelled “Enter Your Comment” and click the corresponding “Share” button.
If the user has connected their Facebook or Twitter account, they can click the “Share” button in the corresponding section to manually share the content to that social network.
Once the button is clicked, a popup will appear that will allow the user to manually share the content to their chosen social network.
Once the user has finished sharing their content, they can click the “Continue to the Content” button to finish and view the content that they just shared.
The user will be automatically redirected to the content once they share to all available networks.
Once they click the "Share" button the section will change to a message that thanks them for sharing.
If the user skips a network and clicks "Continue to Content" they will see a warning letting them know that there are still networks available for sharing. They can go back and finish, or continue on to the content.
How Will My Program Be Impacted?
We are not anticipating that engagement and sharing to Facebook will be significantly affected by the change to the process. This is anecdotally based on the results we've seen from a similar change that was required by Twitter, which reaffirmed the active and loyal nature of the average participant in a SocialToaster program. However, our team will continue to monitor the results of this change and will be working closely with clients to improve the process where possible and provide additional strategic and program guidance where necessary to ensure optimum continued engagement.