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Bringing Social App Discovery to Mobile

October 10, 2011ByLuke Shepard

Today, we are extending Facebook Platform on mobile, bringing all the social channels that have helped apps and games reach hundreds of millions of users on the Web to mobile apps and websites. You can now easily reach the 350 million people who use Facebook every month on a mobile device, including iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and our mobile web site.

We are at the beginning of bringing Facebook Platform apps to mobile. The features we are launching today are still under development. They will evolve as we learn more about building richer social experiences on mobile devices. In addition, we will extend our native support for more mobile platforms such as Android in the near future. We are excited to see what you will build with these features today and look forward to working with you as we improve these features.

Social Channels on Mobile

Social channels like Bookmarks, Requests, and News Feed drive the discovery and distribution of apps using Facebook Platform. Until now, most of these social channels were only available to Websites and Apps on on the desktop browser. Below highlights the changes we've made to bring social channels to mobile.


Bookmarks are one of the key re-engagement channels for Apps on Facebook. When a user engages with your app, a bookmark to your app is automatically added to a user’s main navigation on Facebook.

Now, people who use Facebook on the iPhone, the iPad, and the mobile web site (, will get bookmarks to the mobile versions of these apps. When users tap your app bookmark in our iPhone and iPad apps, we will launch it (if your native iOS app is installed). If your app is not installed, we will redirect the user to the App Store. On our mobile website ( bookmarks will link to mobile web version of your app.


With the new Requests dialog for mobile, users can invite their friends to your app. Friends can receive requests anywhere that your app is supported. For example, if a user plays a move in a game on, their friend can respond from her iPhone. As with bookmarks, users will tap the notification and land directly on the mobile version of your app, whether it is a native iOS app or a mobile web app.

News Feed

Users can already use the Feed dialog to share highlights from apps, but until now they have not been able to interact with those stories on their mobile devices. Now, people can see an interesting story on their mobile News Feed, tap the link, and land directly on the mobile version of your app, whether it is a native iOS app or a mobile web app.

Authenticated Referrals

Authenticated referrals is a new feature that ensures all referral traffic from Facebook to your app has users connected to Facebook. When users search and find a new app, or taps on a News Feed story or a Request from a mobile app they haven’t previously used, they will be prompted to log in before going to the app. This feature grants you the opportunity to build a deeply personalized experience as soon as users arrive at your app.

Facebook Credits

Today, we are also extending Facebook Credits to support mobile web apps. Facebook Credits is a payment system that provides a safe, easy way for users to pay for virtual and digital goods. The same policies for Apps on Facebook apply to mobile web apps, including the requirement to use Facebook Credits as their exclusive payment mechanism. Facebook Credits are not allowed in iOS apps or mobile web apps that are running within a Facebook iOS app.

Getting Started

Of the 350 million people who use Facebook from mobile devices every month, roughly half of those users access Facebook through the web and half use native apps. Social apps are all about interacting with your friends so the best social apps will be on both native iOS and web apps, and we encourage you to think about how to reach the total audience of Facebook users by building both.

If you already have a native iOS app, integration is as easy as implementing Single Sign-On using our iOS SDK. If you're building a mobile web app, you can leverage HTML5 to build an app that works across all modern devices, and get additional features by using technologies like PhoneGap for native distribution. See our mobile documentation for more information.

We have worked closely with some leading developers to create great new mobile web apps and we're just getting started. Today, you can enjoy apps from Audiovroom, Branchout, Flixster, Gilt Groupe, and Huffington Post, and games from EA, Moblyng, Storm8, Wooga, and Zynga. You can try out these apps by visiting on your phone or tablet. Most of these apps are built using HTML5, providing an experience that seamlessly works across iOS, Android, and other mobile devices.

We will hold a Mobile Hack event in Silicon Valley on October 28th to help developers learn more about these features and build awesome apps. If you are interested in attending, sign up here.

Please leave questions or feedback in the Comments below.