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I'm building a small app that scans social media for posts that meet a certain criterion and helps the user delete those posts.

Sadly, Facebook does not allow us to directly delete posts using the Facebook API. Therefore, we have to display a link to the post and tell them to delete it manually. (The post is set to open in a new tab.)

There's a message at the top of the page of flagged posts that explains the process. As we've gotten a lot of complaints, is there any way to help reduce the impact of this issue that we can't directly fix?

In addition, would it be helpful to make it clear that it is a Facebook issue and not an issue with our software?

Sadly, embedding the Facebook site is also impossible because of Facebook's security restrictions.


Here's a quick mockup:

Mockup

  • Thanks. so there's no other reason to go to facebook but deleting, correct? – Mike M Jul 10 '17 at 21:55
  • @MikeM not really – Anonymous Penguin Jul 10 '17 at 21:57
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    Just my 2 cents - saying "We have not deleted anything yet" gives users an expectation that you will eventually delete something. In this case, that expectation is misleading as you cannot actually delete anything. – Virtual Anomaly Jul 11 '17 at 7:18
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    You may move your app to Electron to bypass cross origin limitations and inject a script to automatically delete the post. Not secure and convenient but it's still an option. – Fez Vrasta Jul 11 '17 at 10:16
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    You didn't talk about the process after deleting the post. Is it easy to come back to your application? Does your list refresh automatically after a delete? Maybe the user complains about this part of the process. – the_lotus Jul 11 '17 at 16:02
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Be transparent with your users.

I would include a message that communicates two things:

  1. The application did its job successfully
  2. Facebook imposes this "inconvenient" requirement

Perhaps something along the lines of:

We successfully found 105 posts that match this criteria.

In order to keep your account safe, Facebook doesn't allow 3rd-party applications to delete your posts. To continue, navigate to the posts using the links provided, and click the "Delete" link below the post.

I'd also change the button text to something that tells the user that this is the next step towards deletion (because most users likely won't read the beautifully enlightening text you provide...).

For example:

Delete Post on Facebook

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    User's may not read the entire message and might assume that clicking on "Delete Post on Facebook" will delete the post. – rohithpr Jul 11 '17 at 7:02
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    I would drop the "to keep your account safe" as it's BS on Facebook's part - the real reason they don't allow it is to prevent someone from making a 3rd party client better than the official app and everyone switching to it. – André Borie Jul 11 '17 at 11:48
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    "Go to Facebook to delete" might be better button-text. And "Facebook does not allow 3rd-party applications to delete posts. To do this, use the buttons to view each post in Facebook and click the "Delete" link". – TripeHound Jul 11 '17 at 12:59
  • @rohithpr Perhaps, but the first time they go through the process will be enlightening. Do you have a better suggestion? I like TripeHound's suggestion, however, I was thinking it might increase scannability for a user who's just looking for the word "Delete" if it's the first word on the button. Certainly some quick testing would help clear that up. – maxathousand Jul 11 '17 at 13:08
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    @maxathousand Perhaps "Delete post using Facebook" or "Delete post (via Facebook)" to keep "Delete" at the front? – TripeHound Jul 11 '17 at 15:28

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