Facebook expands 'Like' recommendations to third-party mobile apps

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Facebook is extending its signature 'Like' button to third-party mobile applications, making it easier for users to share app content.  

The Like button, one of Facebook's many social plug-ins, launched on the social networking platform in April 2010 and enables users to express their approval for friends' status updates, comments, photos and links, as well as advertisements. The new Open Graph built-in Like button enables developers to build their own Like buttons for their mobile or Web app and drive distribution across the Facebook ecosystem.

"When a person likes their friend's story via the new Like action, a notification is sent to the friend. For example, if a person likes the photo their friend posts on Instagram, the friend will get a notification," explains Facebook software engineer Andrew Rothbart. "As with the Like button, Like stories are presented and aggregated in News Feed, similar when someone clicks the Like button. Unlike the Like button, people must authorize your app to publish Like stories." Rothbart adds that a Like may only be published when a user performs a designated Like action: "For example, if someone gives a movie a five-star rating in a movie app, that warrants a rated action rather than a Like action."

Like action functionality continues Facebook's efforts to increase social interaction and content discovery across the mobile channel. Last month, the company unveiled App Center, a new hub designed to spotlight the most compelling social applications. Accessible via the Web as well as Facebook's native apps for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, App Center directly connects an app's availability in the storefront to its overall quality, leveraging a series of signals like user ratings and engagement to determine if an app is listed.

All applications featured in App Center include a detail page to help users identify what makes it unique, complete with consumer rankings based on a five-star system. The page doubles as the new destination when non-users search for the app on Facebook. If an app requires installation on a mobile device, App Center transports the user to Apple's App Store or the Google Play storefront.

Facebook touts more than 901 million users worldwide, up 33 percent from 680 million a year ago. More than 488 million users access the site via mobile device each month.

For more:
- read this Facebook Developer Blog entry

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