First Look: Facebook Single Sign-on

Get a sneak peek at Facebook's new Single Sign-On feature to see how it will change your favorite mobile apps.

Facebook is getting serious about on-the-go social networking with a suite of new features announced during the Facebook Mobile event on Wednesday. We've already taken a look at how the release of a new Facebook Places API to mobile developers will change the way we shop, but how will the simplified Single Sign-on process change our favorite apps?

PC World editor Mark Sullivan took some time on Wednesday to interview three social networking applications whose users will be affected by the new Single Sign-on feature: Loopt, Flixster, and Booyah.

Loopt is a great example of how the Single Sign-on integration will actually simplify the user experience, as Loopt is available on multiple mobile devices--from simple feature phones to Blackberry devices, Apple's iPhone, and the Android OS. After logging onto Facebook with the Single Sign-on feature, users will be able to see where their friends are and what they're doing via services like Bing, Zagat, and CitySearch.

Loopt co-founder Alok Deshpande tells us how Facebook's new Single Sign-on feature will affect Loopt users.

For the movie geeks among us, Flixster is a social network for film enthusiasts to discuss current and upcoming movies with friends and family. The Android and iPhone "Movies" applications are mobile extensions of the website, and Flixster co-founder Joe Greenstein believes the option to sign into your Flixster account using Facebook's new Single Sign-On feature will significantly improve the user experience.

Joe discusses how the new simplified Single Sign-on process will change mobile development.

Joe also gives us a sneak preview of how the Single Sign-on feature will work.

But what about mobile gaming? A simplified Facebook login coupled with public distribution of the Facebook Places API is sure to entice mobile game developers who want to emulate the financial success of such successful Facebook apps as Farmville.

Jon Parise, senior engineer at Booyah (maker of such social networking games as MyTown and InCrowd), gives us a quick demo of how the new features will affect players of mobile games.

After rampant rumor-mongering about a possible Facebook phone, these software upgrades may seem pedestrian, but the Facebook Places API and Single Sign-on feature combo is a powerful one-two punch for mobile developers looking to take advantage of Zuckerberg's social network. After all, if you can't beat 'em, why not join 'em?

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Alex Wawro

PC World (US online)
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