Thursday, 4 December 2008

Facebook Connect vs Google Friend Connect - the battle for the future of the internet

Google Friend Connect and Facebook Connect were both released today - and were announced within half an hour of each other. Both are posted on the respective company blogs. Google Friend Connect is detailed on the Official Google Blog and Facebook Connect is presented by Mark Zuckerburg on the official Facebook blog.

Google announce Google Friend Connect on the official Google blog (click for larger image)

Google say: "Friend Connect makes it easy for anyone to sign in to a website, share a little bit about themselves through a personal profile, discover other people with similar interests, invite their contacts, and interact with friends. Even better, you don't have to deal with the hassle of creating yet another username and password — Friend Connect lets you log in using an existing account from Google, Yahoo, AOL, or OpenID."

Facebook blog details the launch of Facebook Connect (click for larger image)

Facebook say: "Facebook Connect makes it easier for you to take your online identity with you all over the Web, share what you do online with your friends and stay updated on what they're doing. You won't have to create separate accounts for every website, just use your Facebook login wherever Connect is available."

Similar? The big battle for internet domination has clearly begun and no doubt Yahoo!, Microsoft and AOL will join in with their own plays soon.

Web 1.0 was about accessing information online and Web 2.0 has been about two way dialogue / user generated content. Many people have advocated that Web 3.0 will be the Semantic web, however I believe that Web 3.0 will be the connected web (with the Semantic web appearing as phase 4.)

Anyone can now easily publish online, but to date, different sites have required seperate profiles, different formats and independent logins. In my view web 3.0 will be about internet users having the ability to connect with friends through any site, at any time, with any device, using a standard login. This is an ambitious vision, but with today's announcements, both Google and Facebook seem keen to pursue this it and claim ownership of the new internet.

However, history is littered with format battles and I recall few examples where two competing systems end up successfully sitting side by side. There always seems to be a winner and a loser - Betamax vs VHS, Blu-ray vs HD-DVD, Dreamcast vs PS2 etc. In the battle for the social / sharing web it may come down to winners and losers too.

So who do you back to emerge victorious in this space - Facebook or Google .........or someone else entirely?

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Anonymous said...

I'm going with Google simply because of their track record. It is ludicrously easy to set it up too.

I hate how Facebook wants everyone to play in "their" network. It's like they think they are the "cool" kids in playground.

Nick Burcher said...

The Facebook set up page is intimidating and seems to be aimed at the development community rather than 'normal' users. Google's offering is much easier to deal with.

Also Blogger blogs can't use Facebook Connect because it's not possible to upload files to the Blogger root directory - though Google have automatically added Google Friend Connect files to the Blogger root so Blogger users don't even have to think about that bit.

On simplicity of installation and potential range of sites that can use Google Friend Connect, it feels like Google have the upper hand in all of this - obviously assuming people actually want to use these services!