Facebook announced oodles of mobile news at the company’s f8 developer conference today. At the top of the list is a new Anonymous Login option, which allows mobile users to choose to log into third-party apps without sharing any of their personal information, rather than via the standard ‘Log in with Facebook’ option.
“How many times have you installed a new app and wanted to try it out, but you’re not ready to create a new account or log in with your real identity?” said Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, during the keynote address. “Today, we want to do even more to put power and control back in peoples’ hands.”
Anonymous Login is currently being tested with a handful of select developers (Flipboard is one), but Facebook has also revised the controls of the standard Facebook login option, allowing users to pick and choose more easily which information they’d like to share with third-party apps. The new features are a rather thoughtful response for a company often plagued by privacy concerns.
Facebook also announced a slew of tools to help mobile advertisers and developers. Foremost is the expanded test of Audience Network, Facebook’s mobile ad network that lets advertisers extend their Facebook campaigns into other mobile apps. Facebook also announced a new ‘Like’ button for sharing from mobile apps to match its desktop and mobile web counterparts, and a “send to mobile” feature that delivers push notification reminders to users to download specific apps on their smartphone.
Days after stating the current priority for Facebook Messenger is growth, the company announced a new feature to spur Messenger activity. Developers can now integrate a Share to Facebook Messenger option, for users that want to share mobile app content amongst a smaller community than their full Facebook friends list.
Zuckerberg stated during the keynote that more than 20% of all time spent on phones is spent within Facebook’s suite of apps. It’s likely that the features announced today are only one small step towards the company’s refocus away from desktop towards mobile.