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Facebook Courts Developers with New Approach to Platform

When Facebook convenes its first developer conference in three years later this month, the social networking giant will be aiming to draw software makers closer to its booming mobile business—and convince them that it has learned from its often-troubled efforts to serve as a platform for third-party developers.

Facebook’s new approach to partnerships stresses ever-improving tools that allow software developers—especially those building mobile applications—to tap into the company’s identity services and much-touted “social graph.” By having people log-in via Facebook and allow access to their Facebook profiles, software makers can learn a lot about customers’ friends and interests and improve their offerings accordingly.

Ilya Sukhar, founder of an app-services provider called Parse that was acquired by Facebook last year, was a key organizer of the upcoming event, signaling the importance the company attaches to the mobile analytics and notification tools that Parse provides. Some developers expect the company to announce deeper integration of Parse into Facebook’s own products for developers, such as its payments system and its advertising services.

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