You might not have heard that Facebook unveiled changed to the iOS Share Sheet and also has built up more advertisers who are now very interested in the free analytics tool it is offering developers. This was all talked about in the FbStart developer event that Facebook held, and it provided a lot of updates about not only the social networking platform but the mobile app changes as well.
The first change is that the older iOS share extension for Facebook basically looked like a standard iOS share sheet, which meant there was not any place for tagging friends, adding activities, or even adding feelings. The new iOS share sheet for Facebook actually includes all of these features, tagging friends, adding activities and feelings, and also shows a more accurate preview of how your post will actually look once it is published on Facebook. This is very good news for people who like integrating Facebook without the hassle of logging in and going from one app to the next.
When you looked at the API-based iOS sharing tool Facebook previously used, you had to be logged into Facebook from the app that you were sharing from. The new updates and features include that Facebook is now encouraging developers to use the new share sheet that was unveiled above, and it just basically takes the login token from the main app and then moves it to the app that you are now wanting to share from. To explain it in a more clear way, if you have an app on your iOS device, but do not have this app connected through Facebook, you can just hit the “Facebook share” button and then just post it right to your Facebook account without having to login to your Facebook account or entering your password.
Since you would already be logged into Facebook on your device, the new way of doing things would allow these other apps to already know you were logged in, therefore eliminating the hassle of typing in your password on these other apps. Think of it like basically composing your update or share on Facebook, except you do not have to take the extra step involved of logging in separately.
Deb Liu, who is the VP of Platform for Facebook said that putting people first allows you to built up a better product. Liu also spoke about the FbStart program, which has given out over $250 million-worth of credits in developer tools. Not only has the company given out millions in the free third-party developer tools program, but there are also now over 7,200 startups participating in the program. This means that there are free trials of the various development tools from over 32 partners now, including Twin Prime, VerbalizeIt, Dropbox,Reverie, and Animoto.
If you have never heard of FbStart, it launched back in April 2014 at the F8 conference Facebook held. The thought behind it was that if Facebook could begin building up relationships with various startups, which is done through the developer credit freebies, then the startups will not need Facebook integration to join the FbStart program. The good news for Facebook is that if they build these relationships then those apps are more likely to include Facebook integration, and this would feed data and Facebook content into those apps, thus helping Facebook make money as well. Not to mention that those developers who are giving those free credits away through this program are also generating leads, since the thought is once those free trials end, these startups could be potential paying customers. That is the hope behind the free credit giveaway at least, and it seems to be paying off all the way around at this point.
Going back to the Facebook Analytics For Apps tool, this is really beginning to be a huge product for Facebook. This tool lets the developers track various things, such as click of various features in their apps, and it is a free lightweight alternative to more expensive competitors like Mixpanel. This just launched at the F8 conference as well, and there are already over 200,000 apps that are using this analytics tool, all thanks to Facebook. If you want to think of it in another way, you could think of it as the mobile app version of Google Analytics. New features were added, including targeting the app’s biggest spenders with the Facebook Custom Audiences ads. Developers also will now be able to target non-users with ads, and over 1,000 in-app events are now able to be tracked using this analytics tool. This is a huge improvement from the 300 it was before the latest mobile update, and now developers also can get emailed reports about the most important details in regards to advertisements and tracking.