Mike Isaac

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Boosting Mobile Developer Visibility, Facebook Adds Built-In “Like” Action for Integrated Apps

Facebook on Wednesday announced a new built-in “Like” feature for its Open Graph integrated partners, which now allows developers with third-party apps to share “Likes” — or their version of the “Like” — from apps on mobile devices to Facebook’s Web site.

That sounds like a mouthful, but it’s pretty simple. Say you’re browsing your mobile photo feed on Instagram, an app which is integrated with Facebook’s Open Graph. If you decide to “Like” a picture from within the app, that action will show up on Facebook.com as an action in your ticker. And if you’re Facebook friends with the Instagram user whose picture you’ve “Liked,” they’ll receive a Facebook notification that you did as much.

It’s a good thing for developers whose apps get the most use on mobile devices. All those “Likes” coming from phones weren’t showing up in the ticker before, but now, as long as you authorize the app to publish that “Like” action on Facebook, those actions will now flood in to the highly visible real estate on the ticker and inside of the News Feed.

And that visibility is obviously important for developers who want their apps to spread quickly. In the extremely crowded marketplaces that are Apple’s App Store and Google Play, it’s difficult for an upstart mobile application to get noticed. There are the coveted top slots on Apple’s featured apps front door, but scoring a spot is completely up to Apple’s discretion (and lord knows what its decision-making process entails). And, of course, there is good old-fashioned word of mouth.

But it seems that Facebook Open Graph integration is the new word of mouth. Apps like Spotify, Rdio and MOG all saw significant spikes in installations over the months that followed their Open Graph integration. Not to mention Viddy and Socialcam, two exclusively mobile apps that skyrocketed to the top of the App Store after their integration with Facebook.

In all, it’s another step to woo developers into integrating their apps into Open Graph, and it’ll probably work. As developers catch on, expect a heck of a lot more “Likes” gracing your Facebook feeds.

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