Did You Fall For it? You Are in Good Company

Did You Fall For it? You Are in Good Company

My Grandfather used to have a phrase he liked to share. He would say, “Believe NONE of what you hear, and only HALF of what you see.” Seeing isn’t always believing. This statement is true now more than ever. There is so much noise out there, via the internet, it can be hard to determine just what is real, and what is completely made up.

Ever wonder how rumors get started? I had to seriously ponder this latest one. People are changing their entire business model, all for nothing.

This rumor seemed legit too. I read it from at least two 3rd party app developers who are both changing their business structure to accommodate a change that is not happening. This myth was further propagated by a well known person in the social space. She was a speaker at one of the large Social Media events last month, and you would surely know the name were I to drop it here.

Since I’m not here to embarrass anyone, I won’t mention names. The rumor was, that Facebook would no longer allow 3rd party apps to post to their groups. All those group posters you see being marketed would be gone in an instant, and several other apps would have to change their strategy as well.

Below is a copy of the text I got in an email from one of these app developers (The names were removed on purpose).

Facebook has made changes to their Graph API that affects all third party apps – including {app name} – from posting to Facebook Groups.

These changes go into effect as of April 30, 2015.

It means that all third party social media tools including {app name} will no longer be able to post to Facebook Groups.

In anticipation of these changes, we will be removing the ability to post to Facebook Groups from {app name} in the coming days.

We’re encouraging all users of this feature to remove any scheduled posts to Facebook Groups within the next 72 hours to avoid failed posts. You may do so in the Posts screen of the app. (pencil icon in left menu).

Feel free to reach out to support@{app name}.com should you have questions related to this change and how it may impact your account.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Joe Schmoe

Another app developer has this currently live on their site:

facebook-thumbs-down

As of April 30th, 2015, Facebook will be updating their API. This update includes removing most apps from third party posting access Facebook Groups from their API and most third party scheduling and social media management tools, including {app name}, will no longer be able to publish updates to groups. To prepare for this change, starting on April 27, 2015, {app name} will no longer be able to post to Facebook Groups on users’ behalf.

Facebook Pages and personal profiles will not be affected and {app name} will continue to post to pages and profiles according to your Schedule.

Any content in your Library that is connected to your Facebook Groups will remain in your library. However, Groups will be automatically disconnected by the system and disassociated with your content. Using  Bulk Edit, you will be able to delete any posts you no longer need or associate those posts with other social media accounts if necessary.

If you have any questions about how the removal of Facebook Groups will affect your account, please reach out to us at support@{app name}.com.

I’m not sure who started this. My guess is that someone read something wrong and then passed along bogus information. And several people picked it up and ran with it. Many of them were well respected members of the community. To be honest, I was almost one of them

I had a post completely written, but wanted to get final verification before publishing. After exhaustive searches by myself and Jason alike, it turns out that the story was completely untrue. Read the Facebook Platform Upgrade Guide for yourself. It says nothing about limiting 3rd party apps ability to post.

Bummer

I was disappointed though. 3rd party apps are a pain for those of us who run groups revolving around actual interaction. We block people who post with an app, but it would have helped in the moderation process had they actually made this change.

Let’s face it, the act of posting to multiple groups with a 3rd party app is highly ineffective. It has it’s place though, and we use it for some things, but I would have still just as soon see it go.

Yes, Facebook is releasing a significant update regarding apps. If you watched any of the F8 summit, you are already aware of their move toward a more mobile based platform. Most of these changes revolve around improving the way apps interact with the site. Apparently someone misread something somewhere, and now several companies are completely changing their business as a result of a rumor. The timing makes one wonder if it was all a April Fool’s prank gone wrong.

This Could Have Been Me

I can see where people could easily run with a story like this. I mean, I almost did too. Things change so fast that it’s an easy story to believe. If Jason had not dug into the Facebook Developer’s page, we may have helped to spread this rumor too.

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The following are other titles we considered for this post. Which one would you have preferred?

Welcome to Rumor Central

It Was Posted on the Internet so It MUST be TRUE

Nobody is Immune to a Good Hoax

Even the Most Savvy Can Be Fooled

The Latest Facebook Change, or Is It?

Monkey See – Monkey Do

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