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Blackberry Mobility Featured Article

November 03, 2010

Facebook Simplifies Mobile Login with Single Sign-On Feature

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Copy Editor

The days of juggling login information for all of your go-to sites and applications on your mobile device may soon be over, as Facebook (News - Alert) has revamped the mobile log-in process with its single sign-on feature, which will give users access to their favorite sites and apps simultaneously by typing in their Facebook credentials.

Described today at Facebook’s mobile event in Palo Alto (News - Alert), Calif., by the head of Facebook’s mobile platform team, Erick Tseng, as a “true horizontal platform,” the new feature simplifies the sign-in process. With a single tap of “Login to Facebook,” users can be connected to their designated applications and websites without the hassle of a lengthy sign-up process or giving their information to the new application.

By opening a partnered, third-party application, users will have to click on a Facebook sign-on button, which brings the user to a Facebook sign-in page. Then, the user will provide the proper Facebook credentials and the platform will automatically sign the user back into that original app, along with any other app the user owns that’s partnered with Facebook.

 “It removes the need to ever have to type a username or password again,” Tseng said at the Facebook mobile event, adding that it “saves you time from things you have to do, to the stuff you want to do.”

The single sign-on feature, which should drastically reduce the amount of tapping and typing users typically do to log into their various applications, was demonstrated at the event by Groupon, a service that offers deals in certain cities, and Zynga (News - Alert), which demonstrated a poker app. Both companies were able to easily log into their respective platforms with the single sign-in step.   

So far, Yelp (News - Alert), Loopt, Flixster, Booyah, and SCVNGR are on board to launch this platform.

The new feature is good news for third-party application developers, as the sign-on service may help drive more users to their platforms. However, Facbook’s top 10 third-party application developers were under scrutiny recently when they violated Facebook’s privacy policies, raising doubts about the social networking site’s ability to protect confidential information.

The third-party applications were found to be unintentionally transmitting identifying information about users to advertising and Internet tracking companies, but Facebook vowed to address the privacy breach and introduce new technology to contain the problem.

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet copy editor. Previously she was assistant to the editor at The Darien Times, a weekly newspaper in Darien, Conn., where she edited submissions, did page layout and design and helped manage the newspaper's website. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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