Google Friend Connect

Google’s Friend Connect is now available in beta, seven months after its preview release.

This service lets webmasters add social features to their sites by simply copying and pasting a few snippets of code – no advanced coding or technical background required.

Friend Connect makes it easy for users to sign in to a website, share a bit about themselves through a personal profile, discover other people with similar interests, invite their contacts, and interact with friends, all through their existing account from Google, Yahoo, AOL, or OpenID.

Users can choose to to either establish a new profile or use profiles and friend sources from other social networks that have opened up their services, like Plaxo and Orkut.

Google’s been working with a handful of website owners, social networks, and application developers to improve Friend Connect’s speed and scalability, ease of use, and customization capabilities. They’ve also expanded the features available to users with more integrated profiles and new ways to discuss and share content, like including YouTube videos in comments.

Websites that use Friend Connect become OpenSocial containers, capable of running applications created by the OpenSocial developer community.

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