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Google Aims to Put the “Friend” in Friend Connect

Google Friend Connect Gets New Social and Personalization Features

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Google has launched some new features for Google Friend Connect, aimed at letting site owners make their GFC experience more personalized and letting their visitors get to know each other.

A representative for Google tells WebProNews that 9 million sites are using Google Friend Connect, and pages with GFC get over half a billion unique visitors a month. Two people join every second, she says.

One of the new features is an "Interests" section, which lets a user add "site-relevant" questions that people can answer when joining their site or through Google’s poll gadget.

"For instance, if you have a music website, you might ask people to share their favorite bands, the last concert they attended, or where they discover new music," explains Google Friend Connect Product Manager Mussie Shore. "Or if you run a hiking site, you can ask them about a favorite hike or national park. The details people share are added to their Friend Connect public profiles for your site, which are seen by other site visitors. This way, your visitors can learn more about each other in the context of the interests that bring them to your website."

People can also now send private messages to each other through Google Friend Connect. Another new feature is the "community data" section, where people can share interests on your site in chart form.

There is a new "Newsletter" section that lets you create, send, and manage newsletter and a personalized content gadget, which automatically presents a dynamic set of links to your site’s content that matches a visitor’s specific interests.

Finally, if you display Google ads on your site, there is a new "AdSense" section in your Google Friend Connect account, which lets you enable the ad units that are matched both to your site’s content and to the interests users publicly share on the site.

Google points to huffingtonpost.com, metrolyrics.com, sfstation.com and pachakam.com as example sites that already show off the new features of Google Friend Connect. You can check these out to get an idea of how they work.


Related Articles:

> Google Connects Friends on WordPress Blogs

> Integration – The Key to Google as a Social Network

> Google Launches Recommendation Gadget for Friend Connect

> Google Continues Building Its Social Network

> Google Launching Friend Connect API

Google Aims to Put the “Friend” in Friend Connect
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