Detailed Look at New Facebook App Settings

When Facebook’s profile redesign beta launches tonight, it will also turn on a new way for users to edit their Application Settings while using the app. Now that the idea of “installing” applications has shifted to “authorizing” applications by default and integrating apps into your profile in different ways later, these new settings show how users will be able to change application permissions.

There are now new options at the top of the “Applications” drop-down menu. These appear when you’re within the canvas page of an application:

1. Feed Settings

If you choose to “Edit [application name] settings,” the following dialog box appears:

The default tab is Feed/Wall settings, and these are likely to be the most frequently changed. Users often react negatively to undesirable stories being published in their Feed, so this level of control will allow them to give their favorite applications full rights while limiting those they feel are abusing the privilege. (This is also an interesting change from the existing process whereby the user is expected to make Mini Feed permission decisions before they know what the application does.)

2. Profile Settings

The Profile tab settings show if the application appears on the Boxes tab and the application tab (if it’s been added). If either hasn’t been added, then you can add them from this tab directly:

3. Bookmark Settings

We’ve been wondering how applications are removed from the bookmarks list once they’ve been added, and this is the answer:

4. Additional Permissions

The last tab gives users more granular control over whether applications can access their data any time or just when they’re using the application. This won’t be ideal for some applications, but it puts control in the hands of the users. This is also where users can edit their email setting.


All-in-all, moving application settings within the application itself rather than being hidden in other settings screens makes sense. It also fits the new model of “logging in” – users aren’t asked to make choices up front based on limited knowledge, but instead can refine and tune their application settings as they use it. These changes could also raise the level of user/application trust in the system overall, as users now have more transparency on an app-by-app basis.