Facebook has introduced new privacy features allowing users to limit the amount of personal information shared with third party mobile apps.
In a move designed to address privacy concerns around social networks, users will be able to opt out from sharing private data such as email addresses, birthday dates or items they liked with third party apps and still log into those apps using their Facebook account.
The user's names and gender will remain visible to the app.
"By giving people more power and control, they're going to trust all the apps that we build more, and over time use them more. And that's positive for everyone," Facebook’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said at a Facebook developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday while introducing the new 'Log in anonymously' feature.
In recent years, Facebook has successfully encouraged a growing number of third-party app makers to allow users to log in with their Facebook identity rather than creating a dedicated account.
As a result, the social network gained access to vast amounts of user data. However, concerns have also mounted about third-party developers gaining access to private information.
At the same time, the social network has rolled out a new service to distribute ads across a network of mobile applications, opening the door to a new source of revenue.
The service, which has been in the works on for some time, allows mobile-app makers to insert various ads within their software, with Facebook sharing advertising dollars with the developers.
"This is really the first time that we're going to help you monetise in a serious way on mobile," Zuckerberg said.
Facebook faces tough competition in the active mobile ad network market. Google’s AdMob service already allows advertisers to distribute ads to mobile apps, while Twitter said on Tuesday that its MoPub ad network can reach 1 billion mobile users.
Facebook began testing a mobile ad network with a limited number of advertisers and mobile app publishers in January. It plans to expand the number of app makers that can use the service, although it did not provide a time frame for when the system will become broadly available.
The new mobile ad system, dubbed the Facebook Audience Network, will leverage Facebook's more than 1 million advertisers and its own ability to target users based on their traits.
Facebook generates the bulk of its revenue from ads that appear on its own Web pages and within its own mobile app. By distributing ads across a constellation of independent mobile apps, Facebook effectively expands its advertising space, opening the door to more revenue.