Wow, Facebook have just announced a huge change in their login feature for apps at their f8 developer conference.

The first change is a new Anonymous Login which will allow people to access an app by securely logging in via Facebook, but crucially not sharing any personal data at all (so no name, email address, access to friends list etc.),

Anonymous Login
Image Credit: FB Newsroom

I can see some marketers getting a little upset about this one, after all, one of the main benefits of using FB login was to get access to the user’s data in order to provide a better experience and also send them messages about other products and promotions.

However, I can see this change as having a positive effect, because people are getting more savvy about what personal data they want to share, and some have become burned by connecting to an app using the FB login and then finding their timelines spammed to hell with unwanted notifications and updates. So having an anonymous login will give users a peace of mind that they’re going to avoid these downsides and I think we’ll see a large uptick with people connecting – so you’re in effect getting more users.

Of course there’s a slight trade off here, because although we might see more users in our apps, we won’t know anything about them – so for example it becomes harder to tailor the content to the right demographic etc. But the key thing is that once you’ve got the user to login, if they then have a fantastic experience with the app and with your content, then you can always move them through to other content and into a sales funnel where you can grab their details.

The bonus news with Anonymous Login is that the users can upgrade to the normal Facebook login and share their personal data with you, so as long as the app is doing it’s job properly (i.e. providing a great experience for the user) then there’s also the chance that the user will give you their email and name if you’re giving them the right experience.

Anonymous Upgrade
Image Credit: FB Developers

The Anonymous Login feature is being rolled out in beta and you can apply over at the FB Developer site to get access if you’re an app developer.

The second change is how the regular Facebook Login works, with FB giving users more control over what permissions an app is allowed. When a user clicks on the FB Login they can then click on an ‘Edit the info you provide’ link, and then they can tap the permissions they don’t want to allow the app to have.

Line By Line Permissions
Image Credit: FB Newsroom

As with the Anonymous Login feature this will also have a similar effect on the data we can get as marketers and app owners, but as I mentioned earlier, if the app is doing the job it’s supposed to be doing then hopefully we’ll see an increase in the number of users that we can then move across into a sales funnel later on down the line.

Here’s a quick video from Facebook about the new login feature.

Interesting times ahead.

Jon.