Windows Phone 7 (WP7) and Facebook

One Saturday morning in late January I picked up my WP7 to discover that my girlfriend had disappeared from my tile screen, and was no longer listed in my people hub. What had I done? Did I forget to call? Did I forget her birthday? Well probably :), but that was not the problem!

I had also found that some of my contacts associations (those connecting Live Contacts with Facebook contacts), had disappeared. It appears my phone had resynchronized my contacts overnight.

After reapplying the associations, everything seemed good again except for the fact my girlfriend was completely missing from my phone. I logged into Facebook and confirmed I was still listed “in a relationship” with her and indeed she was listed in my friends list.

I logged into Windows Live Contacts (which I also synchronizes with Facebook), and found that she was missing from there too. My feeling was that some communication was broken between Facebook and other applications (e.g. Windows Live and WP7).

My troubleshooting took me down the privacy root, and although I made no recent changes I checked each of the privacy settings in my Facebook and Windows Live profiles. Still no luck!

Given that it was a Saturday and I had lots to do. I grabbed her details of my very old phone and manually added her as a contact through Live contacts. Unfortunately then I still didn’t get any Facebook connectivity for her on my WP7.

A couple of weeks later I have found the problem. She had changed her privacy settings, and although her profile appears no differently to me through Facebook, I had not been able to use any other applications to view the same data.

When she changed her “App Settings” privacy to allow “All Platforms”, or the specific platforms I use, the problem was completely resolved.

In conclusion Facebook seems to use privacy settings of my individual friends rather than those from my profile to determine if I can see their information from my other connected applications. This means if you want to tighten up this specific Facebook privacy setting, you should consider whether any of your friends use connected Facebook applications.