Google Launching Friend Connect API

    March 19, 2009
    Chris Crum

At PubCon Matt Cutts just announced the launch of the Google Friend Connect API. It let’s you copy javascript and make your blog more social.

Editor’s note: How do you think the launch of the Google Friend Connect API will affect data portability? Share your thoughts. WebProNews anchor Abby Jonnson spoke with Cutts at the conference:

The key point to acknowledge here is that Google is encouraging people to create more plug-ins for it, and it will be available through WordPress, Drupal, and phpbb plugins making it accessible to a whole lot of the web.

Google Friend Connect will be easily usable with not only blogs, but forums and content management systems. It’s completely open and built on open social.

Google Friend Connect

Out of this, publishers can get:

– more user participation

– More comments and higher -quality comments, less spam

– More interactions: questions, answers, votes

– flexibility – widgets, etc.

This is an important step for data portability. We have not seen Google Friend Connect truly take off yet like it could, and this might get it pushed in that direction.

Friend Connect API

Cutts says it’s not perfect yet, and it’s not live yet, but it will be in an hour or two. More on this as we find out…


Google has posted to the official Social Web Blog now with more.

Whether you’re a site owner or developer, the new Friend Connect APIs offer something for anyone who is interested in helping the web become more social:

  • Site owners – Integrate Friend Connect more deeply into your site. JavaScript APIs allow you to integrate a social community directly within the markup of your page, and our REST APIs allow you integrate existing login systems and your existing data with new social data and activities. These are your visitors and this is your site, so you should be able to add social features the way you want.
  • Plugin developers – Make plugins to integrate with popular content management systems, bulletin boards, or any open framework. To get you started, we have created open source plugin samples for WordPress, Drupal, and phpBB.
  • Gadget developers – Make OpenSocial applications with greater control over how data flows across servers with signed requests. Use server-side authentication mechanisms so that a site with Friend Connect can act as an OpenSocial container.

Update 2: WebProNews reporter Abby Johnson spoke to Matt Cutts about the API launch who basically  just said it provides deeper integration. The plugins are new and developed by his team. Once users sign in they don’t have to sign into each site and are able to copy that info in other places.

A few other tidbits coming from the Q&A with Matt Cutts:

– Twitter followers will not help your page rank

– Does CTR or other behavioral metrics on SERPS affect ranking? It would be really spammy and noisy.

– Cutts says he can’t promise Google would never use its wiki results…

Abby Johnson conributed to this report.

>>> What are your thoughts on this breaking news/? Comment here.

Let us know what you think about the Google Friend Connect API.