At Facebook, we're committed to enabling people to communicate and stay connected wherever they go.
In August 2006, we introduced the first version of the Facebook API, enabling users to share their information with the third party websites and applications they choose. Hundreds of companies have leveraged these APIs, allowing users to dynamically connect their identity information from Facebook, such as basic profile, friends, photos information and more, to third party websites, as well as desktop and mobile applications.
In May 2007, we launched Facebook Platform, which allowed third party developers to build rich social applications within Facebook. More than 350,000 developers and entrepreneurs from 225 countries have signed up, and started developing applications, and have seen significant adoption by Facebook users worldwide.
Today we are announcing Facebook Connect. Facebook Connect is the next iteration of Facebook Platform that allows users to "connect" their Facebook identity, friends and privacy to any site. This will now enable third party websites to implement and offer even more features of Facebook Platform off of Facebook – similar to features available to third party applications today on Facebook.
Here are just a few of the coming features of Facebook Connect:
Users will be able to connect their Facebook account with any partner website using a trusted authentication method. Whether at login, or anywhere else a developer would like to add social context, the user will be able to authenticate and connect their account in a trusted environment. The user will have total control of the permissions granted.
Facebook users represent themselves with their real names and real identities. With Facebook Connect, users can bring their real identity information with them wherever they go on the Web, including: basic profile information, profile picture, name, friends, photos, events, groups, and more.
Users count on Facebook to stay connected to their friends and family. With Facebook Connect, users can take their friends with them wherever they go on the Web. Developers will be able to add rich social context to their websites. Developers will even be able to dynamically show which of their Facebook friends already have accounts on their sites.
As a user moves around the open Web, their privacy settings will follow, ensuring that users' information and privacy rules are always up-to-date. For example, if a user changes their profile picture, or removes a friend connection, this will be automatically updated in the external website.
These are just a few steps Facebook is taking to make the vision of data portability a reality for users worldwide. We believe the next evolution of data portability is about much more than data. It's about giving users the ability to take their identity and friends with them around the Web, while being able to trust that their information is always up to date and always protected by their privacy settings.
We look forward to working with other leading identity providers to develop the best policies and standards for enabling the portability and protection of users' information.
We expect that Facebook Connect will be available publicly within the next several weeks. If you want to learn more about bringing Facebook users to your website, application or device, send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.