I'm quite not sure if this is the correct place to ask, but it might be. I've installed an iOS application because friend of mine recommended it. That app is called "Meow". After installation I approved basic Facebook permissions. After that, the app asked me to invite other friends.


I clicked "Yes!" and suddenly, some random friend messaged me why have I invited him to the application. I am confused, because I thought that the only way to invite a friend is by Facebook Invite/Request dialog, but I didn't see one.

The notification itself (in Czech, it just says that I've been invited to try the applciation):

the invite

Does anybody here have any clue how could this happen? Is that some Black-hat technique?

  • 3
    I don't understand what your question is. The application did exactly what it said in the dialogue, which you confirmed. Are you asking whether an action such as inviting all your contacts should be considered "Black hat" even with confirmation?
    – Rumi P.
    Feb 25, 2014 at 13:41
  • As you said, you gave the app basic facebook permission, maybe that includes sending invites automatically?
    – Kweamod
    Feb 25, 2014 at 13:42
  • I have confirmed it, yes, but Facebook should not have allowed that app to send an invite without popipng up a dialog with friend selector. Look here
    – Martin.
    Feb 25, 2014 at 13:44
  • 2
    If you are asking how this is technically possible to program, then you are on the wrong site, as this is not a UX question. If you are unsure that this practice is good for the user, then this is a valid UX question, but your assertion that "should not have allowed" indicates that you already believe that this is bad practice and are not asking if it is bad. So still failing to see what your UX question is.
    – Rumi P.
    Feb 25, 2014 at 15:00
  • 2
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about why and/or how an application does what it does. Feb 25, 2014 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


It appears that the workflow you experience is an acceptable, albeit frowned upon practice.

I did find some additional information in the Developer documents indicating that the workflow you experienced may become unacceptable due to a new policy (FB docs indicate enforceable on April 9th, 2014 at 10am PST.) The document read as follows:

enter image description here

As you mentioned Facebook Developer best practices discuss utilizing the Multi-Friend Selector when you are inviting friends, or a group of friends. The second screen you showed, which read "Invite Your Facebook Friends?" should have been followed by a multi-friend selector. That multi-friend selector experience is optimized for selecting friends most relevant to the specific scenario. Almost all top Facebook apps build their own custom multi-friend selector for that reason.

  • My question was still not answered. I asked how come Facebook allowed the app to post the invites without popping up a dialog. But thank you for useful information!
    – Martin.
    Feb 25, 2014 at 17:16
  • I'm not positive how Facebook would prevent the application from using your information when you have already consented. As I articulated, generally it is best practice to show the multi-friend selector. This application obviously circumvented that process. Sounds like in the future FB will attempt to police these types of behavior in some way.
    – Courtny
    Feb 25, 2014 at 17:49
  • The thing is that I think that it is the best practice but also the only wAy at the same time. There's no other way to do it documented. I am not worried about using my information, but about posting an invite without my interaction through the dialog. I know this technic is against the rules, I am just curious how have they done that
    – Martin.
    Feb 25, 2014 at 18:56

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.