Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Google launches Friend Connect - a social network for your site

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On yesterday, i.e. 12th May, Google rolled out yet another service called Friend Connect. Friend Connect is an application for website owners that allows any site owner to add social features to their website. Friend Connect offers site owners gadgets created by Google and OpenSocial developers using which any site can be turned into a social network, allowing visitors to interconnect with other users. This doesn't mean that visitors will have to sign up with yet another social network, because Friend Connect is a network of social networks, that interconnects users across several social networks like Orkut, Facebook, Hi5 etc.

friendconnect-logo Friend Connect integrates with contact lists for social networks like Facebook, orkut and Google Talk. This means that users who join a site are instantly connected with friends who are already members, and can invite friends from other networks to visit. They can opt in to broadcasting their activities to friends in their social networks. A post to a message board on one site, for example, can instantly be visible to people in multiple social networks. These instant networks, combined with the wealth of OpenSocial gadgets, can form potent new online communities, very quickly and very easily.

friend_connect

A website running social gadgets from Friend Connect will provide such features to the visitors as:

  • sign-in with their existing Google, Yahoo, AIM, or OpenID account
  • invite and show activity to existing friends from social networks such as Facebook, Google Talk, hi5, orkut, Plaxo, and more
  • browse member profiles across social networks
  • connect with new friends on any site

For website owners, adding a snippet of code to their site is all it takes to join this new platform of social networking.

At present Google Friend Connect is just a preview release and is made available to only a limited number of site owners. Interested site owners can apply for an account.

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