Just when you thought it couldn’t get any bigger (and broader), new tech triumphs are making Facebook more like an operating system for your life rather than a social networking website.
Here are the latest Facebook factors, including time-savers, handy discounts and more:
1. Single sign-in: All apps, all platforms, all the time — Facebook’s new mobile platform allows you to sign up for any mobile phone app from any brand of smartphone using your Facebook identity. No username or password required — just choose “Sign me in via Facebook.” Does this mean you’re also sharing your public profile and public friends with each new app? Yup. But since Facebook has been kicking off app developers who don’t play nice with user data, it’s betting you’ll take the gamble to enjoy the convenience. After all, half of us hop off when we see a sign-in screen. Who’s got the time???
2. Discounts! Now that Facebook is location aware, which means you can “check in” wherever you go, you can now also search for offers from businesses that are close by. Lunch special, anyone? Shoe sale? Show the cashier your on-screen coupon and the deal is yours.
3. Fortune Teller (well, sort of): Not only does Facebook know where you are and what deals you search for, it knows when your significant other is most likely to give you the boot. Facebook tracks changes in relationship status just like it tracks everything else. Biggest spikes for becoming “single?” The weeks before spring break (c’mon, the beach is calling), April Fool’s Day and shortly before Christmas.
4. Social Inbox: If you’re lucky enough to get an invitation from Facebook over the next few months, it’ll let you sign up for its new “Messages” system. Messages integrates email, text and instant messaging into one system. With an @facebook.com address, gone are the days when you had to actually remember which friends prefer texting or instant messaging or emails, or open those different applications to see what’s up. Messages puts communications with each friend in a single stream of “seamless messaging.”