If you've wanted to ride the social media marketing wave by adding social features to your website, but the economy has you worried about spending lots of money on apps, then get excited. Google is again coming to the rescue by offering a free service for you to get your social media game on.
After Google's Campfire One event tonight, website owners will be able to utilize Friend Connect (http://www.google.com/friendconnect). Basically, it's social applications for the coding-challenged. Visitors to sites using 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."
David Glazer, Director of Engineering at Google had this to say: "Google Friend Connect is about helping the 'long tail' of sites become more social. 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."
What do you think about Friend Connect? Plan to add it to your site? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.