Facebook Connect

In an effort to make the web more social, Facebook has officially rolled-out Facebook Connect. This was orginally announced on May 9th on Facebook’s Developer Blog. It has taken since then to finally get it live, and it is just barely live. From the sites they have listed it seems only the City Search Beta site is functioning properly. Next to the member login, it allows for users to sign in using Facebook.

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If it is the first time you log in through your Facebook account, a screen will pop-up with an invitation to sync accounts.

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Once logged in through your Facebook account, you are able to see which of your friends are also City Search members through Facebook. Your friend directory begins to be imported into City Search as more and more of your friends log-in. The other benefit is the reviews you write and the restaurants you recommend are shared with your entire network at Facebook.com.

This differs with the bomb that was Beacon because this is not product purchase based (eg. Peter bought Karma Sutra on Amazon) and it also utilizes technologies and behaviors that already exists (ie. sharing X to Facebook).

When Facebook made this announcement, it was around the same time as Google announced Open Social and Friend Connect. It was also around the same time MySpace announced Data Availability and now MySpaceID. I think a lot of this comes down to an inherent arms race between the three companies to see who can partner with the biggest and best sites. Facebook has jumped out to a clear lead with its partnerships with Digg, CNN, CNET and CitySearch.

I think it is also very important for smaller content based sites to get involved with Facebook Connect because they can begin to take advantage of early press and Facebook’s massive user base.

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