Microsoft and Facebook added support for Facebook Login to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps, although in the latter case it is still in beta form.
The move will enable Windows users to log into apps using their Facebook accounts, overcoming “one of consumers’ largest blockers to trying a new app: getting past an identity screen”. Developers can also use the feature to allow users to share high scores and other app events to Facebook, and engage in social interactions such as playing games against friends or finding new opponents.
Microsoft also noted that “many developers also rely on Facebook Login to tap into the Facebook social graph, which in-turn can be used to enhance their applications’ experience, enable new scenarios and open up the app to new customers, which results in better revenue opportunities”.
In Windows Phone form, the rollout comes in line with an update to the Facebook app, which is “not yet widely used by Windows Phone users (and requires a special link to install)”. Until this becomes more broadly distributed, Microsoft is requesting developers not to release commercial apps which use Facebook Login.
The Windows Phone 8 beta is expected to last “60 days or less”, and Microsoft said it is encouraging feedback from developers.
Microsoft noted that Facebook Login is a “complimentary offering to Microsoft’s identity system for consumers, Microsoft Account, which is used to authenticate on a Windows device, download apps from the Store and a host of other functions.
“We remain 100 percent committed to the Microsoft Account, as we are to Active Directory for companies,” it said.
“Enabling Facebook Login speaks to Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to build extensible platforms that work well with other leaders in the industry, and to provide developers with choices for things like identity verification when building apps for Windows and Windows Phone,” the company continued.