While the majority of top application developers have realized that misleading users is not a long-term business plan, a small portion of developers continue to strive to use every aggressive tactic possible to gain users. While Facebook continues to monitor Platform activity, there are still a number of applications which continue to fall through the cracks. In a matter of days, some of these applications drive millions of users which are then converted into the standard IQ Quiz conversion funnel.
So how do these developers drive so many new users? The most frequently used way of driving new users is requiring users to provide “extended permissions” which then allows the application to post updates to a user’s wall without requiring any action of the user. Technically, requiring users to provide extended permissions before using the application is against Facebook’s terms of service, so this isn’t really a legitimate way to get new users.
The Daily Photo application is just one of a number of applications which have successfully used this method for attracting millions of new users in a short period of time. The Daily Photo application takes things one step further though. After a user starts getting their wall spammed by the application, there’s a good chance that they’ll become annoyed and return to the application to see if they can disable the daily updates.
Many users also like to report applications however the Daily Photo application (among others) has created a fake footer to mislead users into thinking that they’re reporting an application when they actually aren’t. If you scroll down the application far enough, you can find the real footer. The application is also wrapping the Daily Photo content with IQ Quiz advertisements, the same questionable ads which have received tons of attention recently.
While Facebook is working on increasing their policy enforcement, there are still a number of applications which slip through the cracks and successfully drive millions of new users. The result is that the most aggressive application developers successfully generate revenue from questionable advertisements. Even if the applications are shut down, they can simply set up a new account and start again to effectively mislead millions of unsuspecting users.
While it’s not the worst violation in the world and users’ accounts are not damaged by the offending applications, it forces many of the legitimate developers to consider using more aggressive tactics. The reason is that many of the most aggressive application developer actions go unpunished. My guess is that the volume of applications that slip through the cracks will decrease over time. For now though, plenty continue to test the limits of the Facebook Policy enforcement team.
Have you installed applications that require you to provide “extended permissions” before using them?