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Facebook takes a step back with anonymous login options for apps at F8 conference




F8 2014If you felt a shift in the Force today, it’s because all of the developers in the world are at Facebook’s F8 Conference in San Francisco.

What’s interesting is that the conference isn’t just about building a better virtual mousetrap. It’s also about how to monetize and grow apps as a business because you can’t just build it and hope people will come – today’s developer has to be a good marketer, too.

Even if you’re not in the app biz, keep reading because Facebook just made some interesting changes to how things work.

First off, Facebook is proud to announce  a new “two-year stability guarantee for our core products and API versioning to simplify development.” So exciting!

I’m joking, I have no idea what that means.

Login AnonymousI do know what this means:

Today at f8, we announced Anonymous Login, a brand new way to log into apps without sharing any personal information from Facebook, along with a new version of Facebook Login with even better privacy controls.

After years of shouting about the importance of data collection, Facebook is now taking a step back with a wider range of login options. The most drastic change is the Anonymous option.

With this option, you don’t have to remember your username and password (the real saving grace of the Facebook login) but that’s as far as it goes. All of your personal information stays private.

The thinking is that more people would be willing to try out an app if they didn’t have to give up their identity to do it. This is especially true if it’s an app they don’t fully trust.

Facebook is also overhauling the traditional login system, giving the consumer more control over the types of information they’re willing to share.

facebook new login

From this control panel, you can check and uncheck your email address, your likes, birthday, friend list, etc. With the option not to share on the table, you gotta wonder why anyone would share unless it’s related to the app functionality. For example, an app that tells you when your friends are in the area needs to have access to your friend’s list.

It’s good to see that Facebook is taking privacy concerns seriously. It’s not that I believe there’s something to worry about but many people are reluctant to try new apps if it means handing over data. Thanks to these new options, it’s one less hurdle for the developer who is trying to break out of the pack.

I’ll be back later with more news from the F8 conference including Facebook’s new Audience Network.