One of Facebook’s steps toward becoming a mobile-first company has been courting third-party developers to build an ecosystem of apps around the service that gets users sharing more data and content on Facebook. On Thursday the company launched new features that let developers improve the way they sign up users through Facebook’s credentials and the type of data those users can share back to Facebook.
The updates involve Open Graph, which lets users share third-party data with friends; Facebook Login, which lets developers sign up users with Facebook’s credentials; and the company’s SDK. Facebook explained in a blog post announcing the changes that it hopes to see more apps in its system:
“We’re launching three important products that further our transition to a mobile-first platform. We’re making it easier to implement Open Graph on mobile, improving Facebook Login, and releasing a new Facebook SDK 3.5 for iOS. We’re also announcing a new partner program to help developers integrate Facebook on a variety of mobile platforms.
More than 81 percent of top 100 grossing iOS apps and 70 percent of top 100 grossing Android apps integrate with Facebook. With the new tools we’re unveiling today, we’re excited to see even more high quality mobile apps integrate with Facebook to engage with our 680+ million mobile users.”
Facebook faces a tricky balance, though, between courting quality developers to build apps that integrate with its site and increase sharing and simultaneously maintaining quality control over the system. It also must prevent potential competitors from challenging it through its own services.
While the company previously saw great success letting companies like Zynga grow on top of the site, the issues with frictionless sharing that apps like Spotify faced, as well as recent challenges to Facebook’s core products, make that developer relationship a little more challenging. Still, the more that different apps keeps users interacting with Facebook inside the Facebook ecosystem, the better is is for the company’s bottom line.