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In Facebook's non-stop push to dominate the world by making its service the social fabric of the web, it has courted developers and publishers with a platform and suite of tools.

Most of these tools give developers and publishers the ability to tap into Facebook's vast audience and its social graph, which is attractive for obvious reasons. In return, Facebook's footprint on the web grows as users are exposed to its functionality almost everywhere they go.

Yesterday, Facebook released a new registration tool for publishers designed to "[minimize] the friction associated with signing up for a new account and making it easy for people to bring their friends with them." According to the company, this results in higher conversions, stickier sites, more engagement and increased repeat traffic.

So is the new registration tool a good option for publishers? That depends. Here are the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good

Facebook's new registration tool gives publishers an easy way to incorporate the site into their registration process. In theory, this could indeed minimize sign-up friction. If a user is logged in to Facebook when he or she hits a registration form using the registration tool, "the form is prefilled with the relevant information he or she has already shared on their Facebook profile."Publishers can also request access to certain information the user has stored on the site, eliminating the need for new registrants to provide information that they've already given, and they can also create their own custom fields.

For publishers whose audiences are filled with Facebook users, Facebook's registration tool may not only increase conversions, it could help with data accuracy. After all, the data that they can pull from existing Facebook profiles will likely be, in many cases, more complete and accurate than data the user would provide anew on his or her own.

The Bad

There are two ways to integration Facebook's registration tool: through an XFBML tag that relies on Facebook's JavaScript SDK, or an iFrame. Both, of course, make a registration form dependent on one or more external resources hosted on its servers. There are obviously performance, reliability and security issues that should be taken into consideration.

The Ugly

Decreasing registration friction is a good thing, but outsourcing registration to Facebook is, in many ways, a very unappealing proposition beyond the technical considerations. Even though Facebook's growth and an individual publisher's success aren't mutually exclusive, one has to question the wisdom in allowing it to 'own' a huge piece of the user relationship. After all, this isn't just about user registration; it's about how the user interacts with your site beyond registration because Facebook naturally wants to sit between publishers and their users when it comes to authentication as well.

The question publishers need to ask themselves: is letting Facebook come between us and our users the only way we can decrease registration friction, or are there other things we can do to increase the perceived value in our service so that we don't have to?

Patricio Robles

Published 20 December, 2010 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2381 more posts from this author

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john

awesome !!

over 5 years ago

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BL画像

thank you for your sharing

over 5 years ago

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linda tiwaa

I want  friends all over the world.

over 5 years ago

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noor ahmed

gfsgj sfsqkjhf kadsfks kqwejkhb

over 5 years ago

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noor ahmed

fine thanku

over 5 years ago

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Riduan abc

I am fond of exploration.

over 5 years ago

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omar faruk saifi

I want you

over 5 years ago

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shoaib rashid cu

only for you ...

over 5 years ago

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Aphiwe Dudeni

Im doing BBA at ukzn in PMB.I was doing my grade at Carl Malcomess

over 5 years ago

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Leena Mohanty

I'm a smart,beautiful & lovable prety girl.

over 5 years ago

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maya khan

i like the face book

about 5 years ago

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patyo varady

facebook

about 5 years ago

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TRIKAM PANCHAL

hey

about 5 years ago

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sreedharbekal

Think Everythinks............. But Dont Thinks Eny Thinks.........

about 5 years ago

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Priya

Recent studies show that the preference for social sign on sites is varied - users prefer multiple social (& other) sites such as Twitter, AOL, windows Live, Yahoo etc. Not just Facebook.

Again - its possible for publishers to customize the form and ask more relevant data from users. But will asking additional permissions/data lead to increased abandon rates? Any stats on this?

about 5 years ago

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