You Don’t Need Facebook Connect or Google Friend Connect to Socialize
Google and Facebook have both released new social features for third-party sites recently in Google Friend Connect and Facebook Connect respectively. These are not the only kids of their kind on the block, however, as I am reminded by Gigya, the company behind a platform called Socialize.
While Socialize has actually been around since September, its relevancy seems pretty significant now with the launches of the services mentioned above.
What Exactly is Socialize?
The official description: Gigya Socialize is a service that allows your users to connect with their Facebook, Myspace, and other social networking friends on your site. Through the single Socialize API, your site can tap into the APIs enabled by multiple social networks. For example, you can publish actions into the Facebook Newsfeed and let your users share through the Facebook notification system. On your own site, you can also display users’ MySpace or Facebook friends and allow your users to interact with them. Gigya Socialize is designed to protect users’ privacy while giving site owners all the information and control they need to make their sites social.
I conducted something of a Q&A with Gigya’s VP of Marketing, Liza Hausman. The results of that follow.
Chris Crum: How do you plan to compete with the larger brands like Google, Facebook, and MySpace who have all launched similar products recently?
Liza Hausman: Gigya Socialize enables websites to tap into both Facebook and OpenSocial platforms, integrating their site experience with multiple social networks. With Socialize, websites can enable their users to connect with existing social network friends no matter which social network they use. With Gigya Socialize, companies do not have to be limited to either choosing a single service, or having to maintain connections to multiple services on their own. Gigya manages the backend APIs across Facebook and OpenSocial platforms, monitoring for changes 24/7, and will add social networks as they make their APIs available. This allows websites to focus on what they do best, creating great user experiences.
CC: What kind of marketing tactics are you using to promote it (aside from press releases obviously)?
LH: Gigya has a business development team focused on outreach to specific web properties that could benefit from using the service. We drive relevant traffic to our website where we make the full APIs available with free registration. Gigya utilizes Twitter, follow us at: http://twitter.com/Gigya. We also promote Socialize through media outreach to journalists and analysts who cover the space.
CC: What kind of user base have you established so far?
LH: Socialize is currently implemented on FoxSearchlight.com and Coca-cola.com and will soon launch on several Hearst properties. Electronic Arts is working on an implementation for their Sims franchise online. Hundreds of smaller web properties have also implemented the Socialize service. We expect to announce additional major media companies, etailers, and other large web properties early next year.
CC: What is the company’s model for monetizing?
LH: At this point we are focusing on building the user base, but will ultimately be developing an advertising revenue model for monetization.
And there you have it. The big well-known brands aren’t the only ones offering these kind of services, and based on the clients Gigya already has under its belt, it is a brand that we might see on the rise in the near future.