If I'm building an app that requires a Facebook login, users' first gut reaction is, "this app is going to spam my wall and my friends' walls, isn't it?" How do you get around that?

Tinder is an app that mandates facebook login, and it's widely popular. It's also an app that has well-justified privacy concerns. Here's what they do:

Tinder privacy

Are there better ways that you have seen among the apps/websites that handle privacy concerns well?

I would like to convince the user that:

  • I will never need access to their phone book or their phone number if I use facebook.
  • I use their facebook only to obtain their names, a list of their friends who also use the app, and their profile picture.
  • I do not, and cannot, use their facebook wall or anything else. I cannot post on their facebook walls or any friends' walls, nor send requests via facebook to their friends.
  • Your method of telling what you won't do is handy and will mean a lot to the less tech savvy crowd. The step you can use to go the extra mile that tech savvy and users with good inference skill will appreciate is list the permissions you app will use. If you only need to see their wall but not post anything make show the 'view wall permission' or 'upload images permission' or whatever you happen to use. There is a sense of security in returning the facebook API permissions for exactly what you app does or doesn't want to use.
    – Jem
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 17:55

2 Answers 2


I would take Tinder's lead on this. You already have a proven answer, like you said, they have many many users with high privacy concerns, and Facebook. Clearly their UX worked.


I'm going to try to answer this in a way that doesn't relate too much on the implementation. However as of a few weeks ago, Facebook now allows users to log into apps anonymously. This is definitely something you can take advantage of.

While it is good to point out the things you will never need and never use, you should state what information you need and why you need it. Something like "we will only use Facebook to gather your name and pictures to simplify your registration and login.". You can iterate that while you are getting this information you will never access phone book, post to their wall, etc.

Facebook has been updating their permission modals also. It specifically states at the bottom next to a padlock that "the app will be unable to post to your wall by granting permission". At the time Tinder was released, privacy wasn't a huge thing for Facebook (at least not publically).

The best way to ensure privacy is to be very transparent, which you clearly understand and making it clear to users when any action they do can result in any sort of broadcasting.

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