Facebook seeks to improve iOS app discovery

Facebook added additional settings to help native iOS applications get traffic from the mobile News Feed, search and other avenues, the company announced today in a blog post.

Developers can optimize distribution by allowing single sign-on and deep linking. Apps that enable Facebook SSO can get distribution from the Facebook iOS app in News Feed, Timeline, requests, bookmarks and search. That’s why Pinterest, for example, is discoverable through mobile search, but Yahoo’s web-based social reader is not.

In October 2011, Facebook introduced social app discovery for mobile devices. With the platform, iOS users can be taken directly to a native app after tapping on a story from Facebook. Users who have not downloaded the app are directed to the Apple App Store. With deep linking, users can be directed to specific pages within an iOS app rather than a landing page.

Facebook reminds developers that users can click on links from a number of contexts — native apps, web and mobile browsers — so the link iOS apps provide should work for these users, too.

For details on how to integrate Facebook with iOS applications, see the developer tutorial here.