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Google's - Friend Connect - Launching  (View post)

* Miss Universe [PersonRank 7]

Saturday, May 10, 2008
11 years ago8,469 views

techcrunch.com/2008/05/09/thre ...

Like Data Availability and Facebook Connect, Google’s Friend Connect will be a way to securely send personal profile data, including friend lists, presence/status information, etc., to third party applications, ....The primary benefit of these services is to allow users to maintain a single friends list and to coordinate social activities across different sites that perform different services.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I don't agree with this:
"The reason these companies are are rushing to get products out the door is because whoever is a player in this space is likely to *control user data* over the long run. If users don’t have to put profile and friend information into multiple sites, they will gravitate towards one site that they identify with, and then allow other sites to access that data."

Actually, in the long run, users will control their data and who has access to it.

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Incidentially, Michael Arrington/ TechCrunch also claims that the real reason behind Google's entry into this share-my-data-race is MySpace and Facebook throwing vapor [ APT METAPHOR!] at each other with their respective connect APIs, with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo lurking behind the scenes, and lesser also-rans soon to emerge from the woods, too. INSPIRED COMMENT START "Fine, then we could all have a picnic." INSPIRED COMMENT END.

techcrunch.com/2008/05/09/thre ...
[ also reported by Dave Winer
scripting.com/stories/2008/05/ ...]

[put at-character here]Ionut Alex. Chitu
Too early to tell what will happen in the long run, but, if past experiences are of any use, the more criss-crossy and chaotic the web, the more unruly it becomes; and then not only do not users get to control the flow of their own datasets, but nobody truly exclusively will control them either. So, perhaps, in the longer run the social networks will implode once there is some NEXT BIG THING (I'd like that to be TTCP/IP, telepathy-over-IP, but maybe that's next after next.)

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

There is currently a redirection on
google.com/friends
so I believe this adress will be used for this new service.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The URL later on should be google.com/friendconnect/ , Google says. Here is their press release on this now:

--------------------------------

<<Previewing Google Friend Connect: Website Owners Can Make Any Site Social

Easily insert social features to make "any app, any site, any
friends" a reality

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 12, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) – Tonight at Campfire One at the Googleplex (code.google.com/campfire/), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) will announce a preview release of Google Friend Connect, a service that helps website owners grow traffic by enabling any site on the web to easily provide social features for its visitors.

Websites that are not social networks may still want to be social – and now they can be, easily. With Google Friend Connect (see google.com/friendconnect following this evening's Campfire One), any website owner can add a snippet of code to his or her site and get social features up and running immediately without programming – picking and choosing from built-in functionality like user registration, invitations, members gallery, message posting, and reviews, as well as third-party applications built by the OpenSocial developer community.

Visitors to any site using Google Friend Connect will be able to see, invite, and interact with new friends, or, using secure authorization APIs, with existing friends from social sites on the web, including Facebook, Google Talk, hi5, orkut, Plaxo, and more.

To illustrate, independent musician Ingrid Michaelson has added music features from iLike with Google Friend Connect and is now able to run the iLike OpenSocial application on her official website (www.ingridmichaelson.com). As a result, starting tonight, fans who visit Ingrid's site can connect with their friends without having to leave the site. Visitors will be able to see comments by friends from their social networks, add music to their profiles, see who is attending concerts, and enjoy other features of the iLike application, all at Ingrid's website. With Google Friend Connect, people will be able to enjoy their favorite features with their friends on any website across the web.

"We want to bring ourselves to every eyeball, not bring every eyeball to us," said Hadi Partovi, President of iLike. "Friend Connect is a significant opportunity for iLike, artists, and fans. The iLike Artist Dashboard(TM) will be the first content-management system that allows artists not only to post their songs, concerts, and videos to every leading social network from one dashboard, but also to simultaneously manage the content on their own websites."

Google Friend Connect has been developed to lower two barriers to the spread of social features across the web. First, many website owners want to add features that enable their visitors to do things with their friends, but the technology and resource hurdles have been too high. Second, people are tiring of needing to create new logins and profiles and recreate their friends lists wherever they go on the web. Google Friend Connect offers a solution to both these issues.

"Google Friend Connect is about helping the 'long tail' of sites become more social," said David Glazer, a director of engineering at Google. "Many sites aren't explicitly social and don't necessarily want to be social networks, but they still benefit from letting their visitors interact with each other. That used to be hard. Fortunately, there's an emerging wave of social standards – OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, and the data access APIs published by Facebook, Google, MySpace, and others. Google Friend Connect builds on these standards to let people easily connect with their friends, wherever they are on the web, making 'any app, any site, any friends' a reality."

For Site Owners: Traffic and User Engagement

Without requiring coding experience, Google Friend Connect gives site owners a way to attract and engage more people by giving visitors a way to connect with friends on their websites.

-- Drive traffic: people who discover interesting sites can bring their friends with them, and can opt-in to publish their activities on those sites back into their social network, attracting even more visitors.

-- Increase engagement: access to friends and OpenSocial applications provides more interesting content and richer social experiences.

-- Less work: any site can have social components without hiring a programming team or becoming a social network.

Google Friend Connect is in a preview release, available tonight after Campfire One on a handful of whitelisted websites. All site owners interested in learning more about Google Friend Connect and signing up for the wait list can visit google.com/friendconnect/ starting tonight. In the weeks ahead we will be turning on more sites, adding more social applications, and integrating feedback from site owners and developers.

Google I/O

Learn more about Google Friend Connect, OpenSocial, and other social initiatives at Google I/O, a two-day developer gathering about building the next generation of web applications. It takes place May 28-29 at Moscone West, San Francisco. Register now for Google I/O at code.google.com/events/io/.

Conference Call Information

Google will host a conference call to discuss this announcement. The conference call will be held on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time (12:30 p.m. Eastern Time). To access the conference call, please dial +1 (800) 776-0087 within the United States and +1 (913) 312-1509 from international locations. Replays of both calls will be available until midnight Eastern Time, May 19, 2008 at +1 (888) 203-1112 domestically and +1 (719) 457-0820 internationally. The confirmation code for the replay of the call is 7571843. >>

[Thanks Manoj Nahar!]

PierreS [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

It showed up a 404, and now it's redirecting to the main homepage.

PierreS [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Screenshots here:
businesswire.com/portal/site/h ...

PierreS [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The original press release:
google.com/intl/en/press/annc/ ...

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The Google Friend Connect page is live.

google.com/friendconnect/home/ ...

There are 4 example sites that you can play with:

www.mylatestpiece.com/
www.ossamples.com/recipes/
www.ingridmichaelson.com/ilike
www.bibleapps.com/

Not sure what I think about this new service...

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

seeing the same

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

see it in action here: (I had to click a black box at the top on my first visit)
ingridmichaelson.com/ilike/

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

other examples:
google.com/friendconnect/home/ ...

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

<<You can sign in with your Google, Yahoo!, AIM or OpenID account>>
You can sign in with a Yahoo account????

Is Facebook an official partner or have Google just made an app on there?

And the FAQ just says
<<Stay tuned
Valuable shall arrive here ...>>
docs.google.com/View?docid=dds ...

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Video of the event:
qik.com/scobleizer
qik.com/techcrunch

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Mrrix32
Yep, and invite folks from Facebook, Google Talk, hi5, orkut, Plaxo, ilike, linked in and others from what I understand.

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Google Post on Friend Connect:
googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/0 ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

When I tried to sign up via their Spreadsheets signup form I get this after submitting:

<<Something bad happened. Don't worry, though. The Spreadsheets Team has been notified and we'll get right on it.>>

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

My guess? Row limit was exceeded ;)

Haochi [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Yeah, I got that too. :(Well well well.

tom [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

i got that to.....

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

10,000 rows = less than 9,999 users (some may submit the form multiple times)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Small observation. From the source code, it looks like at least parts of this was originally going to be called "People Sense".

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

peoplesense is the service ID

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

It is indeed. And it oddly links to this page when you add it:

sites.google.com/c/ps/

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Also seems there were or might be two types of "partners". "Signup as a design partner" & "Sign in if you're already a preview partner"? Thoughts???

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Looks like they've just added some more questions to the form:

spreadsheets.google.com/viewfo ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

With the new form it works now. ("Thanks so much! ... We will be notifying you as soon as our service is available for your use.")

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

When you click Sign In on e.g. this sample site Google put up for Friend Connect ...
mylatestpiece.com/

... they are opening a new window. The window has an address bar, but can't that be faked, and doesn't that mean they're inviting phishing (i.e. non Friend Connect sites posing as "Friend Connected" to then start asking for a password in that popup window)?

Above 28 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

WebSonic.nl [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Video about Friend Connect,

+ Show video

David Mulder [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I got all bored, and somehow got myself to #4 place in one of the sample apps (bibleapps.com/). The biggest challenge is to somehow stand out for them to choose you, so at the moment I plan to create wrapper libraries for friend connect in codeigniter and cmsmadesimple – the two only projects I use when building websites... most important for them is to provide enough styles so that it can blend into any website once they finish friend connect, as that will be one of the main request from "normal" users I guess, although it seems possible for webdevelopers(third sample app)

stephen [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

twitter.com/directeur/statuses ... nuff' said

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Philipp, you wrote:
"[...] On the down-side, the more you build your site based on Google features, the more you're creating a (soft, completely voluntary) lock-in for yourself because the code behind all this does not run on your own server [...]".

Well, yeah, that's downside of all integration. But could that lofty goal --which translates to easier access, lower implementation and end-usage treshold, and lesser complexity-- be achieved any other way, without the by-product/ "surcharge" of becoming more enmeshed in Googleworld™? [or SomeOtherWorld for that matter; you read that right, and you read it here first.]

"When Google [...] changes policy, or cancels the service, or provides user data to government bodies or adds more ads inside the gadgets than you like, then replacing your site's [social framework] with alternative approaches at that stage may be quite tough. [...]"

All valid, though probably not equally-valid concerns. Something tells me that, were some key features of this to be removed from present setup, they'd be reassigned, if in modified form, to some other Google service where they fit better, or should have been a part of from the beginning. As for Google being forced to disclose data to govt. agencies – we really can't blame them for that, as Google is not some universal Be-All, a state of things above everything else answerable to but own laws, but, in legal sense, merely another commercial body subject to the laws of the regions in which it operates (not to mention laws of physics in the timeless, interstellar 3D-Universe ;-))

So at least where one's global Social Footprint is concerned, each of us still bears CHIEF responsibility for its spread. I'm an early, pre-www, BBS/Internet user, and, until some time after Altavista (1995?), I could not conceive that whatever I posted online would become part of public record FOR EVER. But that doesn't absolve me from taking responsibility for it, even though blaming it on search engines would have made it so much easier to live with! ;-))

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Well, yeah, that's downside of all integration. But could
> that lofty goal --which translates to easier access, lower
> implementation and end-usage treshold, and lesser complexity--
> be achieved any other way, without the by-product/ "surcharge"
> of becoming more enmeshed in Googleworld??

Well for instance, if you run a site based on MySQL and PHP and you want to add a review feature, you could look for an open source PHP tool to install on your server or program it yourself. There's pros and cons to this approach I'm sure, e.g. you would be required to patch the software yourself and learn a bit about software development.

> Something tells me that, were some key features of this to
> be removed from present setup, they'd be reassigned, if in
> modified form, to some other Google service where they fit
> better, or should have been a part of from the beginning.

That reassignment might take a lot of time which may destroy your site. E.g. I've used the SOAP API to create FindForward.com. When Google's SOAP API became so flaky it became unusable – and it was not replaced by the REST API for a long time – it basically brought down FindForward, too (as FindForward was only an experimental site, I didn't mind really, but it was a good hypothetical lesson). You may also think of a Google Answers Researcher who might have based their side income solely on that service, which found no replacement when it was cancelled.

From my experience, I moved my homepage from several free hosting providers to finally my own server which I paid for, because all these free hosting providers back in the 1990s started to add nasty stuff after a while. That was a good lesson not to rely too much on other services. I also wouldn't host images for this site on e.g. Flickr, unless I had a good "data escape plan"... e.g. Blogger allowed to FTP all stuff to your own server, which offered an excellent escape plan once their service was down and slow too often that I wanted to leave.

Diversification of web service providers may also make sense, not sure. For instance, Google sometimes "cross integrates" their pressure; e.g. they may turn off your AdSense ads if you violate their Google trademark policy (and even if you have a harmless site, like Ionut Alex. Chitu's site blogoscoped.com/archive/2006-1 ...), though there is no absolute necessary relation between the two. Imagine they turn off all of your site's social features if they don't like that you use the word "google" in your URL!

> As for Google being forced to disclose data to govt.
> agencies – we really can't blame them for that, as
> Google is not some universal Be-All

Yeah, blame is yet another discussion...
And let's not forget a government may also poll the server provider directly if you run your own software on it. It also depends where your server is located, whether it be in the US (which has homeland security laws) or elsewhere...

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Just fyi, if you signed up before 10:30 am on May 13, 2008 and didn't receive confirmation you should sign up again at:
google.com/friendconnect

tom [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

why we should do this

Mike [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Unfortunately you can't sign in with Google Apps accounts.

To build a community with Google technology, it would have been great if Google Apps could use the same features as every Google account user.

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]tom
Some users experienced difficulty in submitting their signup but the issue was resolved mid-morning on May 13.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Facebook stopped allowing Google Friend Connect to link in their user data – see the right hand side where it says "Disabled by Facebook":


blogoscoped.com/files/google-f ...



TechCrunch has good background on what's happening here:

techcrunch.com/2008/05/15/the- ...
techcrunch.com/2008/05/15/he-s ...
techcrunch.com/2008/05/16/data ...

Michael Arrington says, "A huge battle is underway between Google, MySpace and Facebook around control of user profiles and, therefore, users themselves ... Internet giants know that the days of getting you to spend all of your time inside their walled gardens are over. So the next best thing is to at least maintain as much data about the user as possible, and make sure they identify with your brand while they are out there not being on your site."

Mike continues:
"Google is a little different [than MySpace or Facebook]. They don’t have a social networking presence in the U.S.*, so they are trying to get in the middle between the guys with the profiles (like Facebook) and the sites that want the data. Their Friend Connect product does just that, and makes them an important data middle man. That position can later be leveraged intensely. In fact, in many ways Google can become the most important social network without actually having a social network. Facebook, of course, doesn’t want this. And that’s the real reason why they blocked them today (although the rumor is that they two companies are talking tomorrow about some sort of compromise)."

Mike argues Facebook might be in the wrong here:
"The fact is, this isn’t Facebook’s data. It’s my data. And if I give Google permission to do stuff with it, I’m damned well within my rights to do so. By blocking Google, Facebook has blocked ME. And that, frankly, kind of frustrates me."

*Mike doesn't count in Orkut apparently.

[Thanks Nathan Adams!]

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Hey Philipp, did you see this:
google-code-updates.blogspot.c ...

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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