Facebook had a little something special in store for everyone Wednesday, as evidenced by the slew of major consumer- and developer-themed announcements made Wednesday at the company’s F8 developer conference in San Francisco.
Mark Zuckerberg introduced a new way for Facebook users to log in to third-party apps anonymously, meaning people can still log in with Facebook but opt to keep their identities private while browsing. For advertisers and app makers looking to turn a profit, the company talked about its “Audience Network,” the long-awaited mobile ad network now open for registration. For the rest of Facebook’s developer audience, the social network promised not to break things anymore.
Most significant for Facebook’s 1.28 billion members is “Anonymous Login,” a twist on the standard Facebook Login option, which gives people a way to try an app without sharing any of their personal information from the social network. “Today, we want to do more to put control and power back into people’s hands,” Zuckerberg said.
The anonymous log-in button, which is black as opposed to Facebook’s iconic blue, is meant to let members easily log in to applications without a username or password, but without the sometimes unnerving commitment of handing over personal Facebook data to an untrusted source. You can do that a later date if you want, of course.
The company, however, is currently only testing the new log-in option with select developers like Flipboard, which means you likely won’t see the black button in your favorite apps for several months to come.
The news aligns with one of the event’s broader themes around putting people first and giving them more control over their data. Zuckerberg expounded upon this notion of improving trust and getting people more comfortable with using Facebook in conjunction with third-party apps.
In the same vein, the social network has remade the standard Facebook Login option so that people can pick and choose, on a line by line basis, what information they share with the applications they use.
Facebook is also hoping to build trust with developers, and Zuckerberg made a number of commitments to this group around the stability and security of creating apps for the social network’s platform.
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