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Why Facebook Discontinued Its myPersonality App


Aug. 24 2018, Updated 2:10 p.m. ET

Facebook suspended more than 400 apps

Social media giant Facebook (FB) has recently discontinued its myPersonality app for failing to comply with the company’s regulations related to auditing and sharing data with researchers and other companies. It got rid of the app and more than 400 third-party apps following the Cambridge Analytica scandal since those apps may have shared user data earlier this year.

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Data privacy concerns

Facebook has been trying to clean up its platform by suspending any fake or dubious accounts intended to disrupt global elections. It has already been struggling to safeguard its platform after the Cambridge Analytica data leak issue, which affected more than 87 million Facebook users.

Heightened data privacy concerns have attracted the attention of US and UK lawmakers, which forced the company to make its platform more transparent. Facebook’s data issues have led to Twitter (TWTR) and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google also being targeted. Both of those companies generally use a lot of user data. Facebook has been increasing its efforts to make its data privacy policies more transparent and has created tools so users can access, download, and delete their information.

Facebook got rid of the myPersonality app and several other apps for lack of data controls. Between 2007 and 2012, the myPersonality app reportedly extracted data from ~4 million Facebook users through personality quizzes. There is no evidence that the friends of those 4 million users were affected.

Facebook’s rising expenses

Facebook has been spending billions on the security of user data. It has hired skilled employees as corrective measures to check its defamed image and safeguard its platform. That has increased its expenses. In the second quarter, Facebook’s costs and expenses rose 50% YoY (year-over-year) to $7.4 billion, which was significantly higher than 39% YoY in the first quarter. The company expects its expenses to grow 50%–60% in 2018, driven by safety investments, content acquisition, and long-term innovation efforts.


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