This morning we’ve been receiving numerous notifications about a misleading application that is spreading around that attempts to replicate Facebook’s like functionality. Users first find out about the application, called “Like”, as they receive a notification which says “Your Friend Likes your photo”. The user then clicks the link and installs the application which promptly sends notifications to all of that users’ friends.
While we’re not sure what the developers behind this application were trying to accomplish besides building up a large user base, we don’t recommend installing the application. In theory, the developers behind this application may simply be using this as a tool to harvest a large amount of information about thousands of Facebook users (as we recently described banks as doing).
We’re not currently aware of how many users have been affected but this application is definitely misleading. It uses Facebook’s “Like” icon and uses the application url “apps.facebook.com/farn_ville” to make users think they are installing something else. This application is spreading quickly and while we’d expect Facebook to shut down the application within the next couple hours, there’s a good chance this application will reach hundreds of thousands of users before being blocked.
As Facebook’s user base continues to expand, the risk of viral applications which are used to harvest user information increases and so far this is all we can assume this application is attempting to do. Considering that no information is displayed when you load the application page, most users simply think it’s a broken application.
The bottom line is this: don’t install the “Like” Facebook application.