Create Trust, Reduce Spam with Google Friend Connect API

    March 13, 2009
    Chris Crum

Yesterday, at PubCon South, Matt Cutts talked about Google Launching the Google Friend Connect API. Shortly after WebProNews broke this story, Cutts sat down with our own Abby Johnson for an exclusive interview in which he discussed the API launch in a litle more detail. You can see that interview here (Share Your Thoughts on the video):

Cutts says the API can awaken the social stuff going on on your site. Before, Google Friend Connect wasn’t directly integrated with your site, but now, with the API, Google is strongly encouraging developers to write new plug-ins based upon it. The API allows them to do with javascript or serverside stuff.

Users will be able to come to your site and sign in with:

– a google account
– a yahoo account
– open ID

Then they can leave comments for example, without having to fill out a bunch of personal information, and they can participate in a forum, etc. He says you can do all kinds of social stuff with it. "The sky is the limit as far as what plug-ins you want to write," he exclaims.

So far, Matt’s team has written WordPress, Drupal, and phpbb plug-ins. He hints at other possibilities like plugins for vbulletin, and sites that can vote things up and down like digg. The plug-ins are open source, you can download them right now, and they’re completely free.

He acknowledges that there will be some rough edges, but since its open source, people are free to download plug-ins and make them better. People are probably already improving upon the initial three plug-ins mentioned above.

Google is really encouraging people to take the API and run with it. Cutts says it’s really easy to deal with and can be applied to all kinds of content management systems.

Cutts says that by adding these social elements to your site you won’t get nearly as much spam. "If you can get a little more trust…a little more identity on the web, that’s gonna be good for the web," says Cutts.