Frictionless Sharing

Since being introduced in 2012, the term “frictionless sharing” has become more common. Up until its introduction, Facebook users were able to choose whether or not they shared content such as music, articles, and other activity. Now this choice has been eliminated in a number of apps, causing the same information to be automatically shared.

Frictionless apps give the user less of a choice when it comes to what they share and to whom they share it with. As with many of Facebook’s bigger changes, Facebook users seem to feel that this frictionless sharing allows for too much information to be shared. People’s personal interests and activities are being put on for display. In a survey done by Citi analyst Mark Mahaney, it was found that 7 out of 10 Netflix users are “not at all interested” in seeing what their Facebook friends have been watching on Netflix.  Not only would the frictionless app publicize what movies or shows you have watched but it also gives recommendations based on your friends’ viewing records.

Interestingly, a law known as the 1988 VPPA law has up until now, prevented Netflix from launching their frictionless sharing app in the USA even though it is used by subscribers in 46 other countries. This law protects users from having their Netflix activity broadcasted on their profile regardless of their privacy settings. Netflix continues to push to have this video privacy protection act revised so that they may launch this app here in the United States.

“A world of automatic, always-on disclosure should give us pause”.    – Neil Richards, a professor of law at Washington University

So the question for anyone who uses Netflix and Facebook is: Do you want every show or movie that you have viewed to be seen by all of your Facebook friends?

6 thoughts on “Frictionless Sharing

  1. I’m not surprised by the fact that 70% of respondents didn’t care to know what their friends were watching. Although i would probably still use Netflix if this app came to America (the value of Netflix is still too great), I would not be anywhere near as happy with them. I very seriously detest being forced to share information online that I do not want to share, and although most of my friends already know what I watch, I dislike that I cannot tell Netflix “no”.

  2. I personally hate it when facebook apps automatically share things that I do. It seems like an invasion of privacy, and gives a bit of a feeling of powerlessness and lack of choice. But one of the most annoying aspects is how much this “frictionless sharing” clogs up facebook’s news feed. I would much rather see the statuses my friends post than what movies they are watching.

  3. I agree with Dillon and ambdonald15, I hate when my information is shared with all of my friends. I really applaud companies that keep my information to themselves. I don’t think I would continue to use Netflix if this app was put into use. While I enjoy the cost and convenience, I don’t want to deal with my guilty pleasure shows or personal information being spread. I wish companies would allow either a paid opt-out program for those of us who don’t want to provide information instead of forcing us to.

  4. This reminds me of the situation where the young girl was getting coupons for Pampers in the mail from Target and the father flipped out. End result: companies are watching your choices to know what to advertise to you in the future. This is an ongoing trend in the marketing and advertising world. More and more privacy is being ‘intruded’ by brands while more and more ‘options’ are being thrown in our face. I don’t care what movie my friend from high school watched last night and I don’t care what movie my mom watched last night (If Netflix is telling me). These are two different kinds of people I’m ‘friends’ with on Facebook. I do care to have a conversation with my mom and talk about the movie rather than have Netflix post to my news feed, unwanted.

  5. This article introduced me to a new concept. I may be on Facebook every day but I have not heard the term, “Frictionless Sharing”. I agree with some of the above comments about disliking when my information is shared to all myself. Such as the app Tobi. When I browse the clothing site, it shares with my friends which shirts I was interested in purchasing.

  6. I personally never heard of Friction-less sharing until reading this article. I don;t like when my information is shared with everyone, which is why I don;t commonly post on Facebook. I like to have control of what people see and what they don’t, not everything I post is something that warrants an automatic share to everyone who’s reading.

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