You 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.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.