Facebook’s New Login Flow Leads to 50 Percent Fewer Permissions Asked by Apps

Facebook's year-long mission to give users more control over what information they share with apps is about to come to full fruition.

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Facebook’s year-long mission to give users more control over what information they share with apps is about to come to full fruition.

By April 30, developers who use Facebook login have to update their login flow to allow for users to choose which information they share. If users don’t want to share their birthday, likes or email address, they can opt out before connecting to the app. This login experience for apps was first announced at last year’s f8 conference.

Facebook Product Manager Simon Cross told reporters Tuesday that most major apps have come into compliance and that only a scant minority of apps on the Facebook platform could encounter problems on Thursday:

Our job here is to give people control of the information they share with apps. … We have hundreds of thousands of apps on Facebook and the majority have already integrated. This will affect some apps, but the majority of the major apps have already integrated.

Since the new login experience was initiated, Cross noted that app developers have asked for 50 percent fewer permissions and that there has been an 11 percentage point jump in people logging into app through Facebook. This shows that when people are given more choices about what Facebook information they choose to share with apps, they’re more apt to login.

Cross said that an internal review team has checked more than 40,000 apps to make sure that they’re up to code and allowing users from Facebook to opt-out of sharing certain information before connecting.

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Cross talked about how what Facebook needs most of all is for people to feel comfortable with using the service to log in to external apps. Rebuilding the login flow, utilizing feedback from people, was an important part of this process:

Every app that has been built since the last f8 that needs permissions has already been through the review and the majority of apps that you’ve heard of have also been through login review in advance of the changes. … Login review has helped us understand what people are building with Facebook in a way that we have never been able to see before. They come to us and explain why they need this information and exactly what they’re doing with it. That’s helped us improve the product itself.

Readers: Do you feel more in control of your Facebook data than a year ago?