Skip to main content

Third-party mobile apps get Facebook 'Like' function

Tired of being restricted to the Facebook mobile app in order to "like" something? You're in luck; Facebook today said it is integrating its "like" button into third-party apps, which will push your "like" activity to the Facebook newsfeed.

Partners like Instagram and Foursquare have already implemented the feature (click left), Facebook said in a blog post.

How does it work? If you "like" a photo on your Instagram or Foursquare feed, for example, that activity will show up on your Facebook newsfeed rather than remaining within the Foursquare or Instagram apps. If you're Facebook friends with the person whose photo or status you "liked" on the outside apps, meanwhile, that friend will get a Facebook notification.

While this functionality has been available for websites for some time, mobile apps have not been able to do so until today.

Facebook said developers can build their own "like" buttons, which the social network said will help them build awareness of their app and brand across Facebook. On the privacy front, users will have to authorise the apps to publish their activity to Facebook newsfeeds, and only likes - not ratings - can be published.

Those apps that already currently have a custom-built "like" button, meanwhile, will have to switch to this new option in the next 90 days.

The effort is part of Facebook's OpenGraph, which expands Facebook sharing across the Web. Last year, the social network incorporated various apps from music and video providers into the site, which shared non-Facebook activity on the Facebook newsfeed. Listen to a song on Spotify? Read a story on Yahoo? With permission, it would publish automatically to the Facebook newsfeed, prompting some to suggest that Facebook had ruined sharing. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the option enhances the Facebook experience and is the future of social.