Google Friend Connect Expands, Silent War Brewing

Filed as Features on May 8, 2009 1:58 pm

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Google Friend ConnectYou might not have noticed, but there is a silent war going on, and it is all about how you will engage with other people on websites. Facebook Connect has gotten a lot of press, and with Twitter’s new OAuth functionality, we’re looking at Twitter Connect too. On the sidelines we find OpenID, which is still too bulky but might just get there, and Google Friend Connect. The latter pops up here and there as a widget mostly, but so far without the thunder of its Facebook equivalent. Well, that’s not quite right, they don’t really do the same thing since GFC is more of a widgety thing that adds functionality, whereas FC is an actual login method, but nevertheless they are competing in the same space.

Google obviously know that they are falling behind with GFC, but that doesn’t stop them from rolling out new features. The most recent one is a translation functionality, a few clicks and you can get a machine translation of a comment. That’s pretty cool, just like the poll and event stuff they’ve added.

I’m sure Google will find its focus with GFC, because they could have the same massive impact as Facebook and potentially Twitter has with their external services. Just think about it: Google could utilize brands like YouTube to spark interest for GFC, and I’m pretty sure we’ll see it on our Google profile pages soon enough.

Question is, how will it play with OpenID, a project that Facebook is backing as well? The future for unified login systems and website interactions remain blurry to say the least.

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  1. By Kevin Marks posted on May 8, 2009 at 9:22 pm
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    You’re misunderstanding Google Friend Connect here – it is a login method, but it also supports embedding gadgets written by anyone, not just by Google.
    More importantly, in yur discussion of OpenID, is that Google Friend Connect has supported OpenID since its launch a year ago – you can log in with Google, Yahoo, AOL or any other OpenID on the first screen; clearly it plays so well with OpenID you hadn’t noticed it was using it.

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  2. By Chris Lang posted on May 10, 2009 at 1:14 pm
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    Google Friend Connect is already on YouTube, it is what is running the social features there. Believe me I can tell, there are certain quirks that GFC produces.

    Google is also not about social features, nor is it about laser targeted AdSense ads from the demographic data they glean.

    Google is a browser OS, they are going to popularize the apps even more with social features and one day few will buy Windows any more.

    I run a browser OS on my machine, all I do is boot the machine then consume all my applications thru the browser. I run my whole business thru GFC and Google apps, it’s free and I am moving to Untubtu in a week or so.

    The thing boots in 10 seconds, is as slick as Windows and it is free too.

    Most normal people only use the browser to get what they need now, they do not need a $300 Windows license. I have a free GFC walkthru on my site, get it and it will open your eyes a bit. Hope it helps all….

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  3. By Alex posted on May 11, 2009 at 2:25 pm
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    First Google Friends Connect in 3D mode:
    http://www.sponks.com/fans.php

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