The more web 2.0 progresses and the more the term web 3.0 shows up the more it seems like social networking is becoming a must for anyone involved in social media at all. Every week and nearly every day the big guns in the social world are releasing new and innovative ways to connect the web, and therefore the world. Facebook is no exception to this rule.
Facebook Connect is the social network's newest tool for expanding their social services. The announcement comes shortly after Six Apart’s release of BlogIt, the Facebook app that allows you to submit to multiple blog platforms straight from your Facebook account. Facebook Connect takes this to the next level.
The addition to the Facebook platform will allow you "connect" your Facebook identity, friends and privacy to any site. It will also allow third-party developers to develop applications and extensions to add more Facebook functionality to non-Facebook sites.
Facebook Connect Features
Often a company announces a release like this that sounds great but when you get into it, it really doesn’t do anything. Facebook Connect is not one of these announcements. Features include:
# Authentication - The user will be able to connect to any partner site using quality authentication and security and the user will maintain control over permissions set for the transfer of information.
# Transport Your Identity - Facebook users are recognized by their real name and real identity information…and now you can take this with you where ever you go. Transfer your identity information to other partner sites when setting up accounts and maintain the same identity across the web.
# Take Your Friends with You - With Facebook Connect you can take your friends with you.
# Setting up a Digg account? - Take your Facebook friends with you so you don’t look lame.
# Dynamic Privacy - As you circumvent the web, your privacy settings go with you and change with you as you need. Change permissions and they will change across the board.
Moving Forward Socially
The implications are huge for this new Facebook functionality. With the third-party implications that are possible and combined with Blog IT, Facebook is certainly moving forward. This is likely related to their membership in the Data Portability Group. Is it possible they want to be the central source for your identity?
Ultimately, this means that Facebook went from the number 2 social network site to a social portal for almost everything web and are continuing to do so. Will MySpace go the same direction? Is Facebook concerned about what competition Ning is providing? Or will Facebook over take them all as a stand-alone social portal for the world? What do you think?