Facebook is more than just a social network these days. At the F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg and company revealed a number of cool new features that cast an eye outside of Facebook to make everything you do online that much easier.
Among the many new developer tools the social network unveiled at F8 are Account Kit, which makes logging into services even easier; Save to Facebook, which lets you save articles for offline reading; and Quote to Facebook, which makes it much easier to share quotations. Here’s a summary of each program.
Signing into apps can be a hassle. It’s why Twitter launched Digits — to make the process simpler. Now, Facebook is following in Twitter’s footsteps with Account Kit to eliminate the password.
In the past, Facebook Login allowed you to sign into a number of apps with your Facebook account — but you still needed to have an email and password. Facebook introduced Account Kit at its F8 developer conference, a service that lets you sign up for any app with just a phone number or email account.
Facebook is testing Account Kit in various countries, and the social network says one of its launch partners, Saavn, an Indian streaming music service, found a 33 percent increase in total signups. The purpose is to simplify the process of creating an account with a new service and to allow people who may not have an email or Facebook account to log into apps quickly, without having to remember a password.
Once you enter an app, simply type in your phone number or email address, and you’ll get a code to type in — and that’s it, you’re logged in.
“Tap Next to get an SMS confirmation from Account Kit powered by Facebook,” the text will say in the app you’re using. “But you don’t need a Facebook account. Message and data rates may apply.”
It’s much simpler than having to enter your email and come up with yet another password that follows bizarrely specific criteria. Often, passwords aren’t even secure, because people use the same ones for multiple accounts. The idea is to eliminate the hassle associated with log ins for good, regardless of whether you use Facebook or not.
Save to Facebook
Facebook is now competing with apps like Pocket and Instapaper with a “Save to Facebook” button.
Until now, you’ve only been able to save posts and articles within the Facebook app — and find them in the Saved category. Now, Facebook is unveiling a Save button that will let you save anything you see on the web to your Facebook Save category, so you can catch up on it later. It’s essentially the same thing services like Pocket have offered for a while now, but it won’t require you to download a separate app to do so.
Don’t expect to see the Save to Facebook button everywhere just yet — it’s launching today on Product Hunt and Overstock. However, the social network obviously hopes to see it expand to new apps soon.
Quote to Facebook
If you’re too lazy to copy and paste a quote from an article or ebook you’re reading, Facebook is helping make it faster and easier. Quote sharing lets you simply highlight text, and tap “Share Quote” to make Facebook generate a post in a block quote format that will include the URL of the article you are quoting from.
The feature is rolling out now with Amazon’s Kindle, and you can expect to see more developers implementing quote sharing into their own apps and services soon.