SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook is taking a series of steps make it easier for third-party developers to get users to log into their apps using the social network.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new initiative at Facebook’s F8 developer conference in San Francisco today, part of a broader effort by the company to get software developers and app makers more involved with the social network.
In the past, some users have been skittish about sharing their information with a new app that they don’t necessarily trust. To help with that, Zuckerberg announced that his company is launching a new anonymous login system, which allows users to log into apps using their Facebook account, without providing that app with any information about who they are. Users will get a unique identifier that allows them to sync their settings in an app across multiple devices, but won’t give developers any information about their social graph.
In addition, users who log in to an app using Facebook will be able to change what kind of access the app gets to specific parts of their personal data. That way, someone can log into the app without having to reveal their likes or friends list if they don’t want to.
Privacy-conscious friends can also rest easier. Apps that use Facebook’s login service will now only get access to information and data that users own, and won’t have access to things that their friends have shared with them. That means people don’t need to worry about sharing their friends’ information or photos with an untrustworthy app, and people don’t need to worry as much about sharing stuff on Facebook.
Zuckerberg also announced some good news for developers looking to use the new features. Facebook will be abiding by a two-year stability guarantee for its core APIs, meaning that the company will support all features from its core developer-facing platform for two years after their launch. In addition, Facebook will be setting its APIs aside into different versions, so developers can choose to target their apps for a particular version of Facebook’s platform, rather than be forced to use the latest revision.