You may not realize that your Facebook account extends across the Web. The Facebook Platform is a tool that lets other websites connect with your Facebook account and view your public information. If you've ever seen an option to Login with Facebook on another website, you've seen the Facebook Platform in action.
When you visit a site that uses the Facebook Platform, you're bringing all of your public information on Facebook, including your name, gender, profile picture, and friends list. There are three main ways other websites can integrate your Facebook account.
Instant personalization allows sites to personalize your experience while signed in to Facebook. When a site uses instant personalization, it draws from the public information on your Timeline to predict the types of content you'll find interesting. For example, if you have liked reggae music on Facebook, a music site like Pandora might suggest similar artists or show information about the music your friends listen to on the site.
Social plug-ins are tools that let you easily share a site's content on Facebook. On many websites, this will usually appear as a small Facebook button. Social plug-ins can also show you content from the site that your friends have shared.
Platform apps let you link your Facebook account to an external site. When you add a platform app, you'll be able to use your Facebook user name and password to sign in to that site. Your activity on that site may also appear on your Timeline. For instance, a music-sharing site might post information about the music you've listened to recently, while a news site could share the articles you've read.
You can control how other sites work with your Facebook account by changing your app settings. We'll explain how to do this in our lesson on Adjusting Your Privacy Settings.