How iOS 11 Is Impacting Apps That Are Tied to Facebook

Facebook alerted developers about the effects of new tracking limits in iOS 11

iOS 11 brings new challenges for developers of apps that are tied to Facebook Prykhodov/iStock
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Facebook alerted developers about the effects of new tracking limits in the iOS 11 operating system Apple released last month.

iOS 11 included a new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature for Apple’s Safari browser that limits the use of third-party cookies to 24 hours and deletes cookies entirely for sites that are not visited within a 30-day period.

Facebook engineer Shashank Gupta used a blog post to outline the effects for developers that use the social network’s social plugins, analytics and Facebook Login:

  • Social plugins: Gupta said social plugins will function normally for Safari users who have interacted with within the past 24 hours, but those who do not regularly visit Facebook’s mobile site will have to navigate an additional confirmation screen in order to use plugins such as like, comment and share. Also, Safari users who go more than 30 days without visiting will have to login again.
  • Analytics: Developers may see higher unique user counts for users visiting their mobile sites via iOS devices.
  • Facebook Login: Users may have to enter their user names and passwords every time they use Facebook Login with an app, instead of just once per device.

Gupta said apps using Facebook Login should update to its latest software-development kit and use its SFAuthenticationSession API (application-programming interface), which enables cookie sharing after users agree to an interstitial dialog from iOS.

As for further steps, Gupta wrote, “We’re working on a solution for Facebook social plugins that will require people to go through an additional login screen more often on Safari. We’re also actively working with Apple to make this an easy transition for everyone and will keep you informed of future developments.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.