Monday, January 18, 2010

Facebook Users: Get Ready for a Deluge of Spam

What's the percent chance that Facebook developers, if given the option to request or even require your email address in order to use their applications, would NOT use those email addresses to spam the crap out of you? We'll soon find out, since, effective Wednesday, January 20, Facebook's new email API will be going live. That's right, starting Wednesday, when you go to use an application, you'll be either requested or required to provide your email address.

According to Facebook, developers will be prohibited from reselling user email addresses, will be required to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, and will need to have privacy policies in place. They will also not be allowed to mention Facebook in subject line, "from" line or body header, nor will they be able to use Facebook's logo--which means you'll probably have no idea who these emails are from because who remembers what all those crazy applications' names are anyway?

This is great for developers, who will no longer be limited to contacting you via Facebook (or even allowed to contact you that way anymore), and of course great for Facebook, who will undoubtedly make more money through this latest change geared towards businesses instead of individual users--but how will it affect users? Will they happily comply with these email requests and just deal with the inevitable deluge of new emails? Or will they balk and stop taking those fun quizzes or playing those riveting games?

Just sayin'--you might want to set up a dummy email address before Wednesday.

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