Facebook Connect can make any website social

Way to the future right now
Creative Commons License photo: ionushi

In June, I posted a proof of concept which allowed you to log in to an external website using your Facebook identity: in effect taking it around the web with you. The proof of concept worked by utilising Facebook’s Applications system to pull certain pieces of information (e.g. User ID, name, profile pic) passing it on to an external webpage.

There is a more elegant solution which has now opened up to developers called Facebook Connect. It promises to allow you to seamlessly integrate Facebook identity into your website, manage your privacy and to be able to take your friends list with you around the web.

The fantastic thing about this is you no longer need to create a Facebook application and to rewrite and “force” your webpage into a Facebook application in order to utilise Facebook’s range of viral promotional channels.

I’ve downloaded the sample application (view a live demo here) and it certainly doesn’t seem too tricky to integrate and build social features around.

Unfortunately you can’t launch your websites with Facebook Connect just yet. It’s just for developers at the moment, but Facebook claim that you can open your social websites up to the public some time late summer.

As I’ve blogged before, I’ve had some considerable results building Facebook-based communities. Facebook Connect is a very exciting product launch and I believe will be a significant milestone in building the social “web 2.0”. Well worth playing with!

One thought on “Facebook Connect can make any website social

  1. I have bought a Nokia E71 which will be arriving on Monday. I have had an E90, N80 all with Symbian Series 60.

    I’ve used the iPhone a little in Apple stores, and the interface is leaps and bounds above ‘old style’ Symbian interfaces. I love using SIP, internet radio, voice commands on Symbian, and T-Mobile’s unlimited data tarriff is very nice.

    What I hate about Symbian is that the interface is slow and non-intuitive (I know my way around now, but from a human interfaces point of view it’s poor). The web browser on N80 was horrible, very slow, hard to navigate, hard to type in… many pages didn’t work properly. On E90 it was faster and websites generally seemed to work better. Apparently the E71 browser is comparable to E90 but unfortunately it’s still nowhere near the iPhone’s browser.

    Currently I go on websites on a mobile phone to find information when I have no reasonable alternative, like, searching cinema times when I’m out but not at the cinema. It’s something I avoid doing if at all possible, but it doesn’t have to be like that in this day and age.

    3rd party applications are my main reason for not going the iPhone route at the moment. I like to put IRC, radio, jabber client on my phone. Apple have encouraged developers to create apps for their platform far better than Nokia, so with a fast expanding library of applications, my next phone after I tire of my E71 may well be an iPhone. But then again, I’m really looking forward to using the E71’s blackberry-style QWERTY keypad. We’ll see. 🙂

    As a footnote… PocketPC… don’t bother O.o

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