For me, I had to understand – professionally – what are these annoying permissions about and why are they needed. And now, that I had it explained to me in detail in layman's language, I'm gonna try to write it down in a very same way for all of you.
So, why do we need permissions to access user profile when using a Facebook app:
To be able to upload photos in different photo contests, photo competitions, photo albums etc. directly from your Facebook profile to the app
Without giving the permission, the bridge between the app and your profile cannot be build, that's why materials from your profile as photos, cannot be used inside app environment.
To be able to comment anything once inside the app
You can only comment content inside app, when the apps know who you are and can relate your comments to your profile. That's similar to banning of anonymous comments in digital media portals.
To be able to run regular voting in all Facebook contest apps
If app knows who (Facebook ID) is voting and how many times, data gathered in it can guarantee regularity of voting from the side of the contest's organiser. That might be the uniqueness of the vote if so demanded, or timings of votes (if let's say the prize winning game ends as soon as 1000 votes are registered, ID’s show which vote was 1000 and which one 1001).
For those of you, who are buying apps, some more relevant facts are important:
Targeting & campaign eligibility
If you would like to target different languages, countries, genders, ages...with your app, the app will need access to Facebook profile - that means permission to access from your user. While technically there are some other possibilities (p.ex. geoip) to target by country, there is no other way to limit the app to your language, no other way how the app knows, where the user is coming from or how old he is. Without permissions you are sometimes on wrong side of the law – as you are not eliminating minors from your prize winning game. And so on...
Invite & share
When you want your app to give users opportunity to make your content viral, to invite friends to it and to share it...there is just no other way. Because there is no friend list, if there is no access to profile. And user cannot share, if his profile and your app are not connected via permissions.
So, in the end it is really, really simple. You need permissions for most of the useful app's functionalities. From the user’s and from the marketer’s side. And these permissions do not mean that someone is reading your whole profile as well :) Usually they take in package a group of data called «public profile»: age, profile pic, country, language and gender. And list of friends if you want to share and invite options inside app.
Now, that I understand all these facts, I just might click «I agree» a few more times. Just as long as you offer me an attractive app :)
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