Facebook launches new mobile web experience

Facebook overhauled its mobile web experience today

Facebook has refreshed its mobile web offering to include single sign-on functionality for social apps and has expanded the reach of Facebook Places to include location-based deals.

Quashing rumours that Facebook will launch its own phone. CEO Mark Zuckerberg used a special mobile event to launch three new features for the site's 200m mobile web users.

Facebook mobile users now have a one-touch "single sign-on" portal for social apps, games and sites using their Facebook login, rather than having to sign-up and log-in to each.

Places comes of age

Facebook Places, which allows users to tag their location, has also been opened up to developers to allow them to build the API in any social location application, including Foursquare and Loopt.

The third and final improvement also uses Places to allow local businesses to easily create special deals for Facebook users, like discounted meals or services. Users will be able to check-in, cash-in the deal and then share it with friends on Facebook.com.

Here's how it'll work.

One of the first deals will be from Gap, who will be offering 10,000 free pairs of blue jeans for Facebook users and 40 per cent off for those beyond that if you check in at the store.

Deals are only available in the US at the moment, but will be rolled-out internationally in due course.

No Facebook Phone

So not exactly the bombshell Facebook Phone many were hoping for, but some decent Foursquare-like upgrades for the mobile platforms.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a group of bloggers and developers: "There's a rumour floating around that Facebook is going to build a phone. No.

"Our goal is to make everything social. Our phone is no matter how many platforms you're building for that our app is social. The approach that we have and what we're going to stick with for a while.

"We want a lot of the eco system not built by us."


While these developments are sure to enhance user experience, we can foresee another privacy storm coming, with more third parties having access to Facebook logins and user locations.

Zuckerberg says "Nothing has changed" with single sign-on, and that user permissions will still be required for third parties to gain access to user location.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.