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This article was published on August 22, 2013

Facebook’s Login feature opens up to all, requiring apps to ask for permission to post to Timelines

Facebook’s Login feature opens up to all, requiring apps to ask for permission to post to Timelines

Facebook certainly has grown offer one of the most widely used login connections in the world. Through the feature formerly known as Facebook Connect, the social networking company has been able to connect users to their apps at least 850 million times a month. But while it’s a simple process of tapping on the blue login button, do people really understand what’s really being shared between Facebook and the app?

In April, Facebook revealed that it was going to be rolling out an improved mobile login experience with better permissions that users would understand. Today, it is bringing that improved Facebook Login service to all mobile apps, meaning that now, third-party developers must separately ask you for permission to post content back to the social network.

In a seemingly never-ending battle, the company appears to always be finding itself needing to educate its users about when things are posted to their timeline. And there are some critics who say that the way in which Facebook goes about it is rather difficult and complex.

Facebook needs to be on top of its game when it comes to being that bridge between apps and its users because its login feature engrained itself into the technology ecosystem so much. The company tells us that 81 of the top 100 grossing iOS apps and 62 of the top 100 Android apps in the United States have integrated with Login, so protecting users is critical for the social networking firm.

iphone-write1As Facebook’s Avichal Garg tells us, Facebook Login is considered to be the company’s “platform” — it’s better known than Open Graph and the other parts. Users like it because they don’t have to remember their passwords — just one tap of the button, login credentials are verified, and you’re logged in.

For developers, it’s useful because it allows things to be shared easily, can let their customers find friends quickly, and tap into a whole bunch of information from Facebook to make a real personalized experience.

So how does this news affect you, the app user? Well, if the service enables you to log in using Facebook Login, it should now prompt you to explicitly verify whether you want it to share content to your Facebook friends and timeline:

Don’t want to share your music playlist or workout routine with friends? You can choose to skip sharing altogether. Clearly separating sharing means people can decide whether they only want to use Facebook Login for fast registration without also sharing back to Facebook. If you want to share later, you still can.

With the global release of an updated Login offering, Facebook is looking to better protect user information while also offering an easy and streamlined approach to authenticating access to third-party apps.

Photo credit: THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images