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Friend Connect: Your New Frenemy

Posted on 5.12.2008
Google is launching a data portability feature (courtesy of Open Social) which could help it compete with the likes of Facebook and MySpace, and potentially render smaller, independent white label social networking platforms and services obsolete.

Google's Friend Connect enables website owners to utilize social features on their Web properties and let users share their social graph, just by adding a simple snippet of code to their site. Website owners receive features many sites don't have such as user registration, invitations, members gallery, message posting and reviews as well as third-party applications built by the OpenSocial developer community.
Perhaps the most significant advantage to website owners is that Friend Connect will do the hard work of encouraging visitors to bring in their friends to interact with the site and for many that will go a long way to attracing visitors. The downside of course is that you've got one more Google solution running on your domain and a deeper reliance on a network that is profiting from the actions of your users.

The service is only a preview release right now and is being made available to a limited bumber of site owners as it approaches general avaialablity. To me it looks like a more open, social and glorified version of Yahoo!'s MyBlogLog, but those interested can sign up here.

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