San Francisco: Facebook today moved to bolster the trust of its more than one billion users by providing new controls on how much information is shared on the world's leading social network.
In a major shift away from the notion long preached by Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg of having a single known identity online, people will be able to use applications anonymously at Facebook.
The social network also provided a streamlined way for people to control which data applications can access and began letting people rein in what friends can do with shared posts at Facebook.
Zuckerberg announced the changes, along with moves to make Facebook a more stable platform for applications, at the social network's sold-out f8 developers conference.
"By giving people more power and control, they are going to trust all the apps we build more and over time use them more," Zuckerberg told an audience of about 1,700 conference attendees. "That is positive for everyone."
In a statement Facebook explained its new "Anonymous Login" as an easy way for people to try an app without sharing personal information from Facebook.
"People tell us they're sometimes worried about sharing information with apps and want more choice and control over what personal information apps receive," the company said.
"Today's announcements put power and control squarely in people's hands."
In coming weeks, Facebook will also roll out a redesigned dashboard to give users a simple way to manage or remove third-party applications linked to their profiles at the social network.
"This is really big from a user standpoint," JibJab chief executive Gregg Spiridellis said of what he heard during the keynote presentation that opened the one-day Facebook conference.
"I think they are seeing people are scared. They realise that long-term, they need to be trusted."
A JibJab application that can sync with Facebook lets people personalise digital greeting cards with images of themselves or friends.
In a major move that promises to help application makers bring in more money and to further challenge Google for online marketing revenue, Facebook is expanding a test of putting its ad-targeting prowess to work for developers.
A Facebook Audience Network will what people share publicly about themselves and their interests to pinpoint marketing messages in third-party apps linked to Facebook on desktop computers or mobile devices.