A couple months ago, I wrote a post about disinformation architecture in Facebook apps. Recently I noticed that the app had been improved in some ways. For one thing, you don’t get interrupted quite as often and asked to invite your friends. When you do have the opportunity to invite friends, the “skip” button is now a lot more prominent, like so:
Unfortunately, they couldn’t leave well enough alone. There are these user generated quizzes you can take, and when you’re done, before you’ve seen your results, it invites you to select up to 20 friends and challenge them to take the quiz too. I never understood this – why would I want to challenge my friends to beat my score before I’ve even seen what my score is? Well, now they’ve quietly added an adorable little “opt out” right above the submit button, like so:
Of course, one of the first times I saw it, I neglected to deselect it. So, the app sent a notification to 40 random friends, challenging them to beat my abysmal score of 60% on some ridiculous quiz about car logos!* Many of these could be people who don’t even use this particular Facebook app. Most of them are not people I would normally choose to “challenge” to a quiz. And none of them are people who I want to boast to about my ignorance of car logos!
So, while I originally thought the app was making changes to demonstrate more integrity, I now think it was just a way to get us to let our guards down while they came up with new methods of tricking us into partaking in their viral campaign for total Facebook domination. Judging from a quick survey of the people I inadvertanly spammed with my announcement of logo ignorance, it was already working. Damn.
*By the way, though I failed to recognize the logo for Subaru, I did recognize the logo for Skoda – so, I guess I’m kind of proud of that, anyway.