The following post is from Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Developer Platform Evangelism, Microsoft.
More than one billion people use Facebook to connect and share. Increasingly, they also rely on their Facebook identity to access apps, play games with friends, share playlists or comment in a forum. Many developers also rely on Facebook Login to tap into the Facebook social graph, which in turn can be used to enhance their applications’ experience, enable new scenarios and open up the app to new customers, which results in better revenue opportunities.
Today, as part of our ongoing partnership with Facebook to support rich development scenarios, we are very pleased to announce Facebook Login APIs on Windows 8/8.1 and Windows Phone 8. Developers can get access to documentation and the APIs through Microsoft’s Windows App Builder blog and Windows Phone Developer blog as well as Facebook’s detailed documentation for Facebook Login for Windows and Facebook Login for Windows Phone. Facebook Login for Windows 8 is ready to use in production applications, and for Windows Phone 8, Facebook Login is being launched today as a beta. We expect the beta period to last 60 days or less, and encourage developers to try it out and give us feedback.
For developers, seamlessly integrating Facebook Login overcomes one of consumers’ largest blockers to trying a new app: getting past an identity screen. Every step or interruption between a consumer and the task they want to complete creates friction and engagement drop-off. Some studies show such interruptions can significantly reduce a user’s likelihood of signing up for the app. For example, in 2012, a study commissioned by Janrain found 92 percent of U.S. respondents leave an experience due to forgotten login information or the need to create a new account. Facebook Login addresses that challenge, and Facebook has documented that the Login function can lead to conversion rates above 70 percent.
This announcement aligns with Microsoft’s ongoing strategy and commitment to make it easier for developers to build rich, connected apps that target both Windows and Windows Phone. Developers can take advantage of Facebook Login to easily unlock the power of Facebook in their apps. For example, with Facebook Login, developers can enable consumers to:
· Login to an app with a single click or tap, re-using the Facebook credentials stored on the device.
· Share high scores and other app events to Facebook.
· Engage in social interactions like playing games against friends or finding new opponents.
· Easily access and share photos within the context of an app.
A number of companies are already looking to Facebook Login to create consistent, rich and personalized experiences for their customers on Windows and Windows Phone.
· Foursquare will use the Facebook Login API on Windows devices to “make it even easier for people to use Foursquare to find new places, keep up with friends and share experiences,” said Akshay Patil, Head of Platform at Foursquare.
· Adobe will be implementing the Facebook Login API capabilities for Adobe Revel and Adobe Photoshop Express on Windows 8 “to help people get the most out of their photos and easily share their memories with friends and family,” said Lea Hickman, Vice President, Consumer Products for Adobe.
· For iHeartRadio, the addition of the Facebook Login API for Windows devices “will enable quick and seamless access to iHeartRadio, allowing listeners to share their favorite stations to Facebook, leave comments and enjoy more in-depth interactions,” said Brian Lakamp, President of Digital for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.
Facebook Login is a complimentary offering to Microsoft’s identity system for consumers, Microsoft Account, which is used to authenticate on a Windows device, download apps from the Store and a host of other functions. We remain 100 percent committed to the Microsoft Account, as we are to Active Directory for companies. Enabling Facebook Login speaks to Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to build extensible platforms that work well with other leaders in the industry, and to provide developers with choices for things like identity verification when building apps for Windows and Windows Phone.