After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has made some alterations to its log-in services. Such changes have badly affected some large game makers who use Facebook’s login service. The social network then has loosened the new requirements.
Both Activision Blizzard and Zynga reported that changes and bugs in Facebook’s login software have hurt their revenues in the second quarter. They didn’t disclose the exact number; however, explained that the changes forced their users to log in to apps again.
Frank Gibeau, Chief Executive of Zynga, said that the alterations that Facebook made created some bugs that required players to re-log into the games, and affected their experience. Fortunately, this was just a short-term issue; and the game publisher had worked with Facebook to solve the problem.
Activision, the publisher of the famous Candy Crush Saga game, stated that they had some technical issues from a partner that caused a user decline and affected net bookings of the game. Commented on the company’s earnings call, Chief Operating Officer Collister Johnson said that the company had worked with the partner to address the issues.
In both cases, the companies said that the issue had been fixed and will not hurt their revenues in the third quarter.
Earlier this year, Facebook announced after the Cambridge Analytica scandal that: “The Facebook developer tool Login in part facilitated the disgraced and now defunct Cambridge Analytica’s collection and storage of millions of users’ personal data.”
These changes and the issue affecting game publishers may be connected.
A Facebook spokesman commented on the reported issue that the social networks had addressed the publishers’ concerns in a July blog post. It was working with Zynga and King to solve the problem. The spokesman, however, declined to reveal any further details related to the issue.
According to the social media giant, its Login technology helps developers to simplify the account set-up process on their platforms by allowing them to take some data associated with Facebook. In short, this developer tool allows third parties to partly harvest Facebook users’ data. Cambridge Analytica used this tool to collect and store data from millions of people.
After the Cambridge Analytica scandal in March, Facebook made some alterations to the developer access to user data through the Login technology. The changes limit the data that third parties can collect by default. They also require users to log in to an app if they haven’t used the app in 90 days. This change may be what affect Zynga and Activision’s game players.
Facebook first revealed its change to Login in an April blog post. The social network then officially issued an update on July 27 that loosens some criteria of the earlier changes.
Although Activision did not reveal the name of “the partner”, it can hardly be anyone else but Facebook. Besides the reported issues with Zynga and Activision, there is no other prominent video game markers mention the Facebook-issue connecting to their earnings.