The 10 Worst Facebook Apps
By itself, Facebook is a bare-bones Web service--the liveliness comes from its users and from the oodles of Facebook applications that make going to this social network fun and useful. We at PC World love plenty of Facebook apps, but some that blink, flash, and serve no clear function have us scratching our heads wondering why they exist.
Others have us tearing our hair out or are just annoying. After all, what is the point of a Facebook application called Ploppy that broadcasts how our last trip to the bathroom went?
You have tens of thousands of Facebook applications to choose from. Of those thousands, here are the ten you’ll definitely want to avoid. (As already hinted, at least one pushes the boundaries of taste.)
Facebook Wall Candy Crap-letts
Pieces of Flair, Bumper Stickers, and Super Wall are all one of a kind, Facebook applications that the creators say are meant to promote self-expression via splashy graphics, videos, and interactive gifts.
In reality, these pesky pieces of junk inundate your home page with images of snowballs, green mugs of beer, crass quotes, and what are called LOL cats sent from your flair-loving friends. Once the less-discerning among your Facebook acquaintances start using Crap-letts, you may find dozens of colorful hairballs, so to speak, littering your profile.
Pirates vs. Ninjas
There are some great games on Facebook--Scrabble comes to mind. Then there's Pirates vs. Ninjas, a never-ending game where, in order to succeed and become a stronger character, you must virtually lasso (via Facebook invites) more of your friends to join the game.
That's what makes this game so insidious: The more friends you get to sign up, the more you advance in the game. This recruitment requirement will turn any successful Pirate or Ninja into a Facebook spammer.
Spamming friends for make-believe pirate swag? As someone said, "Arg, I think not, me hearties!"
Before the Facebook app Whopper Sacrifice was shut down in January 2009 for "creative differences" between Burger King and Facebook, the app pushed the boundaries of good manners, if not good taste. Whopper Sacrifice asked participants to delete Facebook friends in exchange for free burgers from Burger King. A whopping 233,906 complied--and looked like jerks in the process. Whopper Sacrifice earns a Facebook raspberry for its contradictory nature: Facebook is supposed to connect people, not separate them.
Honesty Box is a Facebook application to help those who apparently feel their friends aren't telling them the entire truth. The app allows you to ask any question you choose, and fellow Honesty Boxers can submit their answers anonymously. So now you’ll never know who answered your question, "Do you think I’m fat?" with the response "Absolutely YES."
Only gluttons for punishment would have the guts to hang this Facebook app on their Wall. For those who don’t think your 200-plus Facebook “friends” can sometimes be cruel, you’ve been warned.
Owned! allows you to place imaginary monetary bids on your friends, and, in effect, "own" them for the highest dollar. You get no actual reward, and you don’t actually spend any money. If this app feels like a big joke, it kind of is. And we think the joke is on those who install it.
How Good Are You in Bed?
Based on a series of auto-generated questions such as how attentive are you to your partner's needs and how limber are you, the Facebook app How Good Are You in Bed? supposedly can determine your sexual value and self-worth.
We’re not sure what kind of person might want to advertise their How Good Are You in Bed? test results on their Facebook page. But if you have to advertise it, the odds are good that you may have cheated on the test--just a theory.
Performing precisely as advertised, Compare People delves into the pit of superficiality and trivializes the friends you've collected by showing you two of your friends side-by-side and forcing you to find one of them superior. Who's the most datable? Who has the better fashion sense?
The questions keep coming and so do the bruises to your Facebook friends. The results of your comparisons remain private--which is fortunate considering you’d likely lose about 50 percent of your friends overnight if you did post the results on your Facebook page.
What Kind of Sandal Are You?
Based on five simple questions such as, "What's in your closet?" and "What color pedicure would you get?" and so on, the Facebook app What Kind of Sandal Are You? reveals, at long last, what breed of open-toed piece of footwear you are.
According to the app, this reviewer is Slingback Sandals--"classy and sophisticated, I dress to the nines wherever I go, even if it's in my Couture sweats!" This stuff is obviously culled from a space-age algorithm crafted by Harvard graduate scientists and the top social researchers in the world.
Question: What kind of person is a Croc?
Yes, there exists a Facebook app that tracks your bowel movements. Its name is aptly Ploppy, and it's probably supposed to be good old-fashioned potty humor. But this app excretes no joy from us when it comes to the prospect of informing people how we spent our time in the bathroom. We think it would be equally as stinky to know about our friends' … you know.
The Most Useless Application Ever
The ultimate ineffectual Facebook add-on is The Most Useless Application Ever. Yep, you heard right. The name of the app is The Most Useless Application Ever. Guess what it does? Nothing. It updates your newsfeed to indicate the app has been added to your stockpile--and that's it. When clicked, The Most Useless Application Ever cynically informs you with quips such as "Eliminated potential of usefulness." Perhaps, in its simplicity, it is, in fact, refreshingly honest. Or maybe it's just stupid.