May 13, 2008 113 reads by Navneet Kaushal

In an effort to join the field of social network data portability, Google has announced its plans to launch 'Friend Connect'. This feature will enable website owners to grow traffic by taking profile information from social networking websites and putting that information onto third party websites.

With the help of Friend Connect, any non-social networking website can give itself the looks and basic functionalities of a social network website. By simply adding a snippet of code in their websites, Webmasters can now almost immediately embed social networking features such as user registration, invitations, members gallery, message posting, and reviews, as well as third-party applications built by the Open-Social developer community. Because of the code provided with this service, the need for extensive programming has been eliminated.

All those websites using Google Friend Connect feature will able to provide their visitors with options to see, invite, and interact with new friends. The visitors can also use secure API (Applications Programming Interface) to reach out to their friends from other social networking websites such as Facebook, Google Talk, hi5, Orkut, Plaxo, and many more.

Some of the advantages that Google Friend Connect provides to the Webmasters are:

  1. Drive Traffic: Interesting websites attract users, who in turn bring in their friends and thus increase the website's user base and site traffic as well.
  2. Enhanced Access: The access that this feature provides to friends and Open-Social Applications helps in providing more interesting content with a better and a fun-filled online social experience.
  3. No Hassles: The specialty of this feature is that it does not involve complex programming or the need of professional developers. Any Webmaster can have social components, without losing the theme and track of his website.

At Webmaster World, there is a thread about the same topic with some interesting posts. Here are a few of them for our readers

"Reminds me of a post I made awhile ago where I argued that the social networking of the future won't be "owned" but will be hosted, with "community" assembled "on the fly, for a specified duration as a service" by a "broadcast and listening" system with "credentialing and preliminary/escalating de-privatization" where one's "profile", i.e., one's "social graph" won't be stored by anyone other than the individual and it will be "exposed" only by assent and in measured degree in response to "listening queries or records of interest" communicated to the broadcast and listening system.

At least this looks like a step in that direction and, if anyone was going to pull this off, it would be the likes of Google.

Social networks. On the fly. "Society" not owned, but created, by choosing the apps of social endeavor. Paid for by very targeted CPM ads visible in the UI of the app. Interesting times."

"Is the reverse process considered?
We will soon release some "sort" of "social" large new site.
Offering such tools as the one mentionned to be available to web owner needing to make its debut in the "social" genre.
My question is: in my case is the "connection/inter-connection" from other "social" to mine facilitated by any existing tool, api etc."

"A pat on the head is always more enjoyable than a dope slap. 😉 Thanks.

I think the system-vision I described was no more than a description of a yearning that is common to most of us. We really do yearn to reach out via the WWW to dialogue – on our own terms. We want to maintain a degree of privacy. We would like a degree of control over who enters our "engagement space", i.e., invitation controls. Our engagement needs vary by issue so social networking as apps assembled on-the-fly makes sense. Let me choose from a menu. Allow for verification (I talked about a 3rd party verification system, akin to an Identity-Equifax) that would escalate trust more rapidly if I "knew" (verified) that this IS "John Doe from Stanford '87 who majored in economics . . etc" . .

The WWW is a wonderful connector and exchange enabler. The problem of the WWW isn't that if fails to connect the world. Rather, it's that it fails to enable the world to connect, in part due to significant issues of trust and "being known or knowable" and in part due to efforts to "own society", i.e., own members.

I don't see the old online-social-forms going away overnight. They work within their limits and offer certain built in advantages. Those advantages may erode with time, though, as wise folks with deep pockets realize that it's better to offer the best socializing service than it is to own those wishing to socialize.

Don't own me. Enable me. I'll suffer you background ads, as the price of admission, if you don't overdo it and otherwise leave me – and enable me – to play with the world."

It seems like Google is finally catching up in the field of social networking apart from Orkut. About time!

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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