Here’s How Facebook Connect Works
Facebook has just announced the general availability of Facebook Connect, its new service that allows users to login to other sites using their Facebook IDs and share there activities from these third-party sites with their Facebook friends.
The service, "makes it easier for Facebook’s 130 million users to tap into the social graph by extending their Facebook experience to any participating Website, desktop application or mobile device," a Facebook representative tells WebProNews.
That is the most interesting feature of this service – the ability for any site to add this functionality. Developers can integrate Facebook Connect into their own sites using their self-service application.
Over 100 websites including CitySearch, CNN The Forum, TechCrunch, CNet, SixApart, and Joost have either already implemented Facebook Connect from its testing period, or have already confirmed plans to integrate it soon.
From the user’s perspective, here’s how it works:
1. Look for an icon like this one on websites where Connect is available:
2. Click to login to the website using your Facebook account. A popup will ask you if you want to connect to Facebook. They stress that your privacy is honored. "The best part is, your privacy comes with you. Facebook Connect respects all the same privacy settings you have on Facebook. Wherever you go using Facebook Connect, your privacy will follow," the company says.
3. Engage in your activities at the third-party site. For example, comment, post a review, etc. using your Facebook ID and profile pic.
4. Choose whether or not you want to share your words on Facebook.
As far as I can tell, that’s about all there is to it.
Features Facebook touts, which you can learn more about here, include:
– Trusted Authentication
– Real Identity
– Friend Linking
– Dynamic Privacy, and
– Social Distribution
Now that we get to see it all illustrated, it doesn’t seem nearly as controversial as Beacon, which some were questioning if this was the second (or third perhaps?) coming of.
Sites may find a good branding opportunity by utilizing the feature. As you know, Facebook’s insanely popular, so if someone is leaving a comment on your site and shares that with their friends, it can’t be a bad thing for that purpose. The question is, will this somehow lead to abuse and Facebook spam?