Facebook’s New User Registration Tool for Websites: Implementation Details and Impact

Facebook has officially launched its new “registration tool” for third-party websites. This powerful plugin allows websites to insert a single line of code to create a registration form which pre-populates fields with a user’s Facebook data. We expect widespread adoption of the tool because it will reduce drop off during registration and provide sites with data including a verified email address which has been historically difficult to get users to provide.

Publishers can use the same registration form for users with or without Facebook accounts. A user’s name, email address, birthdate, gender, and current city are automatically filled in if they’re logged in to Facebook, and publishers can ask for additional information not included in the Facebook profile. Since users see and alter the data they’re submitting, unlike with Connect, there is enhanced transparency and trust. Facebook has provided extensive documentation on how the registration tool iframe can be implemented, and an introduction complete with examples.

Connect was first released at the 2008 f8 conference to allow users to login to third-party websites with their Facebook account. The Connect brand was officially retired and the Facebook Login social plugin was released at the 2010 f8. While these prevented users from having to create a separate proprietary account on third-party websites, it still left them looking at a daunting blank login or registration screen. Publishers also had to provide distinct login flows for Facebook and non-Facebook users, with the choice between the two creating a extra step which increased friction and reduced signups.

New Registration Flow and Implementation

The registration tool’s improved flow, which Facebook has documented and diagrammed, solves both of these issues. The Facebook-themed “Register” button publishers display on their sites leads to a single form which doesn’t pre-populate forms if a user doesn’t have a Facebook account. It creates momentum towards registration for logged in users by filling in many or all of the necessary fields, allowing them to quickly begin their Facebook-enhanced experience.

The code for a standard iframe of a registration tool is:

<iframe src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/registration.php?
client_id=113869198637480&
redirect_uri=http%3A%2F%2Fdevelopers.facebook.com
%2Ftools%2Fecho%2F&
fields=name,birthday,gender,location,email"
scrolling="auto"
frameborder="no"
style="border:none"
allowTransparency="true"
width="100%"
height="330">
</iframe>

And the code for the “Register/Login” button is:

<fb:login-button
registration-url="http://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins
/registration" />

If users aren’t logged in to Facebook when they visit a third-party site, the “Register” button will automatically read “Login”, prompt a user to enter their Facebook credentials, and then send them to the site’s pre-populated registration page. Users see a facepile of their friends who’ve also registered with the site at the bottom of the iframe, encouraging them to sign up.

Publishers are given the flexibility to append additional site-specific custom fields, such as “Favorite Movie” to the registration tool using a JSON string. These fields can use a variety of input methods including typeaheads which tap into an array of Open Graph protocol types, such as for cities. A security captcha can also be easily included. XFBML tags are support through the JavaScript SDK, and information is passed using secure signed requests.

By combining reduced friction sign up, support for non-Facebook users, and a social recommendation to join, publishers who implement the new registration tool are likely to see significantly improved sign up rates. FriendFeed, one of the beta partners for the tool where it can be seen in action, has already seen a 300% increase in Facebook sign ups. The registration tool will lead publishers to eliminate their proprietary sign up system, further increasing reliance on Facebook across the web. This in turn could prime third-party sites for integrations with direct monetization implications for Facebook which we speculated could be coming, including off-canvas Facebook Credits and an Open Graph ads plugin.

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Leave a Reply

13 Responses to “Facebook’s New User Registration Tool for Websites: Implementation Details and Impact”

  1. Tom Waddington says:

    This is currently broken, after the FB downtime.

    All ID’s except Facebook and FriendFeed’s return “Invalid ‘client_id’.”

    If you have issues, please vote on the bug here: http://bugs.developers.facebook.net/show_bug.cgi?id=14227

    Thanks!

  2. Facebook新登入工具,讓使用者安心登入新網站 | TechOrange says:

    [...] (消息、圖片來源:Inside Facebook) 台大歷史系,輔修經濟系,曾任天下雜誌編輯4年。有一把漂亮的電吉他,願望是有天能站著不要看弦彈吉他。 Hsiang Wen 寫的其他文章 的個人網站 AKPC_IDS += "3855,"; [...]

  3. barry says:

    why carnt i get on to face book

  4. Internet Marketing by Smart People says:

    [...] Facebook’s New User Registration Tool for Websites: Implementation Details and Impact Facebook has a new user registration tool, making it much easier to tie it into your website/blog registration forms, or as a stand alone. As always, Inside Facebook, has an excellent look at the new tool. [...]

  5. damageinc says:

    I deleted my old facebook connect code and added this. What does this mean:The redirect-uri should point to the page which will process your signed_request.?
    I have a new blog and had my google friend connect fail over and over again so would prefer to utilize this tool on my blogger website (www.forhuntersbyhunters.blogspot.com) and am confused by a few things:
    Where do I get an api ID number and do I add it to the code?
    What is the connect button for if you use the form code? Why use both and how do you integrate them if both are needed?
    Is there a tutorial for rookies that has step by set implementation instructions?

  6. Facebook officially launches it’s new “Registration Tool” plugin for websites! | Chris Lucas says:

    [...] By Chris Lucas on Dec 19, 2010 in Personal Updates You can now make it even easier for for user to register and subscribe to your site. The best part of all for website owners is knowing that you will be provided with a verified email address from your subscribers and you can expect an increase in subscribers. FriendFeed has already experienced a 300% increase in Facebook subscribers. If you're looking for an increase in your subscribers rate perhaps using this new Registration Tool could do just that!Amplify’d from http://www.insidefacebook.com [...]

  7. This Week’s Headlines on Inside Facebook says:

    [...] Facebook’s New User Registration Tool for Websites: Implementation Details and Impact [...]

  8. nayyar says:

    super kanna ok i under stand

  9. tulasi says:

    i love india

  10. fazlirabi says:

    I requst to facebook company to register me as new user plesae. thanks alot

  11. hetty says:

    i love england

  12. phillip marlon ellis says:

    i love china and japan

  13. solomon ibekwe says:

    I wish you to send me the procedure in registring as a new user on face book. Also please, send the site which i am to log unto

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