On October 10, Facebook rolled out its long awaited native iOS application and an HTML 5 web application. Part of Facebook’s first efforts in extending its full Platform to the mobile market, both apps not only provide a slick new user experience, but also bring social app discovery to mobile. Users can now discover and interact with apps on their mobile devices through three new channels: bookmarks, requests and newsfeed links. In addition to the three social channels, Facebook has also introduced Authenticated Referrals, which take users from the Facebook application to a native or web app without having to reauthenticate with their Facebook credentials.
Taken together, the new apps (currently available for third-party native apps on iOS devices and via m.facebook.com, and coming soon to Android) significantly reduce the need to manually authenticate with Facebook connect and make it easier for friends to interact with and discover apps.
Here’s a rundown of each of these new features:
When a user interacts with an app on any computer or device, a short-link to the app is automatically added to the user’s Facebook Mobile sidebar.
If the user launches the app from this sidebar menu, she will automatically be taken to either the native iOS application or the web application.
An invitation to check out an app from a friend using a desktop browser can be received and acted on all within the mobile device.
Users who open the invitation to interact with an app will be taken straight to the mobile version of the app–either a native iOS or a mobile web app.
Links in newsfeed posts can now also take users automatically to the mobile version of an app.
Users who navigate to your app and are already logged in to Facebook do not need to re-authenticate.
First time users of your app and those who have not previously used the mobile version of your app will be prompted to log in with their Facebook credentials and allow the app.