05 Dic First Look: Why Facebook Connect Is Bound For Success
Washington Post, By JR Raphael, December 5, 2008
Facebook launched its Web-wide sign-on system, Facebook Connect, on Thursday — and let me tell you, this thing has the potential to simplify and enrich social networking in a revolutionary way. Facebook Connect lets you use your Facebook ID and password to sign-in to third-party sites. It’s kind of like another Web-wide sign-on protocol called OpenID in that regard, but Facebook strikes me as having far greater potential of taking off on a large scale. The reason? It’s easy to use, understand, and control — and users won’t have to do any extra work to find it or make it function. OpenID, if you’re not familiar with it, lets you use a single username and password to sign-on to numerous sites. But let’s be honest: How many average, non-techie-type Web users are even aware OpenID exists? Odds are, most people have an OpenID-linked account somewhere. But does the typical Internet surfer even know what it is or how it’d be used? Facebook Connect has visibility on its side. As the most visited social network worldwide, according to traffic measurement data by ComScore, it has an audience already connected and ready to roll. And with 100-plus partners expected to be on-board within Connect’s first weeks, there will be plenty of places for that audience to go. Sites like CBS, CNN, and CitySearch are already signed up. My.BarackObama.com is said to be implementing the system. And countless blogs and Web sites are sure to follow. So, realistically, what can this thing do for you? Let’s say you’re visiting a site like CitySearch, one of Connect’s early adopters. Rather than having to create an account, you just click the Facebook logo at the top of the page. If you’re already signed into Facebook in another window, it picks up your ID, asks for your privacy preferences, and you’re in. Your Facebook profile is then basically in front of you. Your name and photo automatically appear, and you can see your friends’ activity, too. But the real power for the social Web user comes in the interactive action. You can, for example, review a restaurant on CitySearch, and — if you so choose — have the review shot back over to your Facebook Wall at the same time it’s posted on CitySearch. The content shows up on Facebook as if it were any other Wall posting. The full extent of your activity is listed, along with a link for people to follow. That’s novel, sure — but what if you just don’t use services like CitySearch? Facebook Connect can also let you link up any blog or Web site posting to your profile. I tested it using TechCrunch, which already has the system set up. One click on the site’s Facebook logo, and I was signed in. Then, I could leave a regular comment with everything from my Facebook identity in place — no need to enter in an e-mail address, upload a picture, or deal with any other hassles.