Facebook made several major announcements related to the mobile space today. First, the company is launching new and improved apps for iPhone and Android. The Android app is already available for download from the Android Market. It includes Facebook Places, improved notifications, and the ability to share posts with groups of your contacts instead of everyone.
The new iPhone app will also get access to Groups.
Facebook is also launching a new Facebook Deals service which will work with the Places feature. Basically, when you check in to a store, restaurant, or other location using your mobile phone, the people who run that establishment will be able to offer coupons or other deals through the Facebook platform.
Probably the most exciting news is a new Single Sign-On feature which will work sort of like Facebook Connect, but for mobile apps instead of web sites. Here’s how it works: If you’re already signed into Facebook, you won’t need to create separate accounts to sign into third party apps that support the Facebook protocol. You can simply login with your Facebook account.
I’ve encountered a couple of mobile apps that already work with Facebook Connect, but they currently have to dump you out to a web browser and have you enter your Facebook credentials to allow access — even if you’re already logged in.
Companies that have already committed to using the Facebook Single Sign-On feature include Zynga, Groupon, Yelp, Flixter, Loopt, and Booyah.