Facebook Trying To Give Users More Control, Richer Experiences With Apps

People are increasingly engaging with Facebook-connected applications such as Pandora, Nike+, and Endomondo. They want to be able to tell more stories using these apps, but they also desire more control over how the apps post to Facebook and what information is accessed. On the eve of the Facebook platform’s sixth anniversary, the company discussed how it has brought third-party developers into the fold and what’s next for Facebook-connected apps.

Doug Purdy, Facebook’s director of developer products, told reporters Thursday that more than 550 million people have personalized experiences on apps and external websites each month through social plugins such as the like button and login with Facebook. He added that there are more than 1 billion stories from apps and sites each day, using Facebook’s Open Graph.

Purdy praised Facebook-connected apps such as Nike+, which allows users to hear cheers on runs whenever Facebook friends like or comment on the Open Graph story created. He said users want to have richer experiences from these apps, but they don’t want to trade their privacy.

Purdy talked about how the next step for Facebook on mobile is to give users ways to decide what information they share:

We want to create a better environment where users feel like they have more and more control over what is shared with applications and, in addition, what is shared back to Facebook through those apps. What we’ve done is effectively split out the difference between read permissions (these are the kinds of permissions that apps will ask for to personalize the experience) from sharing back to Facebook. We are trying to allow users to have much more control over whether or not they will grant the app to publish back. They can just hit the skip button and not allow the application to publish anything.

Facebook also introduced Parse Co-Founder and CEO Ilya Sukhar, who is on day No. 4 as a Facebook employee. He discussed with reporters the background of Parse and what the company will help Facebook do, namely work with developers to create better Facebook-connected app experiences:

Mobile’s really hard — there’s so many platforms, so many different languages, so many different devices, so many different stores. The world’s really complicated. So what we do is we make it really simple to get apps out the door for developers. We set it up for iOS, or for Android, or Windows Phone, or you name it — there are so many platforms out there. It makes it easy to get under-the-hood functionality.

Readers: How often do you use Facebook-connected apps?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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