SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook users are not sharing as much original content as they used to, according to a recent report in The Information. But several new features released Tuesday may help combat that problem as Facebook leverages its developers to increase their reach and engagement.
Facebook’s developer ecosystem has been growing in number of apps and revenue, with its developer community expanding more than 40 percent over the past year. Additionally, 80 percent of the top apps have been built with Facebook. The company has paid out nearly $9.5 billion to developers over its history.
On Tuesday, Facebook released Account Kit, a way for users to sign up for an app with just their phone number or an email address. This setting expands on the Facebook Login tool, known as one of the largest single sign-on products. This system may mean that fewer people will connect their Facebook account to an app, but it helps increase the engagement in these apps, which could be integrated with Facebook in other ways.
“You don’t have to have a password. You don’t have to have a username. In fact anyone can create an account without even having a Facebook account,” said Deborah Liu, Facebook's director of platform products.
Having a diverse set of login features helps bring these apps more active users. For example, Saavn, a streaming service for Indian music, garnered more than half a million new sign-ups through the phone number login over two months. That was a 33 percent increase in total new sign-ups.
“Facebook Login and mobile phone number login via Account Kit have made registering on Saavn easier than ever,” Vinodh Bhat, Saavn president, chief strategy officer and co-founder, told IBT.
Facebook also launched a new way for users to share information from other websites and apps and onto its own site. A new quote sharing tool, available to developers, allows users to highlight text and share that directly to their Facebook page along with a link. That means users are no longer required to copy and paste text and then open up Facebook or even screenshot a block of text. Amazon’s Kindle app is one of the launch partners for the feature.
A new “Save on Facebook” button is also available to developers. Now, not only can people click a “like” button when reading an article, websites can have access to a button that will then save the article page to the user’s Facebook feed. This feature is an expansion on Facebook’s own save post, which was launched in 2012 and is now used by more than 250 million people per month. “We’re helping people get back to content on the web but wanted to consume later, whether it was because of bandwidth or time,” Eddie O’Neil, product manager at Facebook, told International Business Times prior to F8.
The Facebook analytics system, which was released last year at F8, now has more measurement tools. Most notably, Facebook developers can see more insights on their users, such as education, job title and interests. This data is aggregated and anonymized.
Push and in-app notifications are also available to developers. Push notifications allow users to link somewhere in their apps while in-app notifications can feature text, photos, GIFs, sounds and buttons.
These features are now accessible to all developers, after being tested by 70 developers from more than 15 countries.