7 takeaways after f8 if you market on Facebook

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It has been 3 years since Facebook last organized the f8, the large conference dedicated to developers.  If the 2014 edition had not revealed any developments as significant as the implementation of timeline in 2011, a few announcements made this year were nevertheless noteworthy for advertisers and developers using the platform.

Here is a summary of 7 takeaways to for Facebook marketers:

1. Publishers can allow anonymous access to attract internet users that are concerned about sharing their personal information

To attract users concerned about the security of their personal information, Facebook now offers anonymous access. This capability is still in beta and not yet available to everyone. Users can access your application without sharing anything else than an anonymous ID, which enables you to recognise them on desktop, tablet or mobile devices, as long as they’re connected to Facebook in another browser tab on the same device.

Users now have a simple way to try out an app through a seamless registration process. Later on, publishers can ask for users’ email address and other information, when user interest has peaked. This new feature will make it much easier to entice users to create accounts on sites where necessary.

2. Facebook launches its Audience Network  to place advertising in native apps

Already a very effective promoter of mobile apps with mobile app install ads, Facebook will become a big player in mobile media, giving Google a run for its money. For the first time, Facebook will be deploying its advertising outside of its platform, using the new Facebook Audience Network on Facebook Mobile.

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And because Facebook login is widely used as a means of authentication for mobile apps, and will be even more widely used with anonymous access, the social network knows the apps users have already installed in the past, as well as the ones they are currently using. This development will give advertisers unrivaled targeting capability for their ads.

3. Users can pick and choose which information to share with publishers

Facebook Login is the easiest way for users to register on an app with the least amount of friction.

Facebook now gives users the ability to be very specific in the information that they intend to share with developers. For example, a user can give permission to share his/her first name and last name, but not his/her email address.

FBloginNewAs a consequence, app developers must verify what information the user consents to provide and make sure to provide an alternative flow for those users who refuse to grant access to their private information.

4. A more limited access to users’ friends list and information

Facebook applications will no longer be given access to users’ full friends list. Gone are apps based on friends’ posts or birth dates or where users can browse profiles or friends of friends.

However, the following two points are worth noting:

  • The list of friends having already authorized the app is available. Features such as “Friends leaderboard” is still possible.
  • Facebook’s friends list subset algorithm provides access to two partial lists of friends: “Invitable Friends” and “Taggable Friends”. It’s easy to understand why: only friends who usually accept invitations to join apps or accept being tagged in photos will be part of these groups. By targeting users who typically accept invitations to install applications, this helps to improve the conversation rate of invites.

The “Invitable friends” list can only be used to send requests for canvas Game apps on Facebook, and nothing else.

Finally, the end of access to the friends list means the end of access to users’ friends’ information.