Facebook Connect Is A Huge Success

I’d go with that assessment. Connect has made identity/authentication so much easier for third party app providers and at the same time has struck a serious blow to Google in that these relationships are not transactional and it is a zero sum game. With FB adoption where it is and so much momentum on the Connect initiative, there is little incentive for third party service and app providers to go with any alternatives.

As much as Beacon was Facebook’s low point, that service’s replacement, Facebook Connect, is vaulting the company to new heights six months after its November 2008 launch.

[From Facebook Connect Is A Huge Success — By The Numbers]

The long term strategic value of Connect is in layering on additional service offerings that can slipstream into application services. Identity and authentication are clear wins today, profile data is increasingly accessible, and long term that ability to build in payment services, advertising network extensions, analytics, and CRM capabilities is entirely within their grasp.

Facebook Connect and Anonymity

Image representing Facebook Connect as depicte...
Image via CrunchBase

As I look back over the evolution of blogs, community, and commenting/engagement on media sites, I have a mixed feeling about anonymity.

On one hand the ability to use a pseudonym has encouraged participation where it might not happen, but on the other it has enabled a raucous and at times a very mean spirited experience. Just take a look at the comment stream on any story on SFGate and you will see this in action, the result being that the comments end up not being informing and additive to the original story but rather a sideshow of people shouting at each other.

When a service is Facebook Connect enabled the login process for the subset of people that want to use it strips away pseudonyms and exposes your real name and profile information. The result is that we will end up with a two tier community model and this could be a very good thing.

Most people will be more thoughtful and, hopefully, cordial when their comments are attached to them as a person rather than the pseudonym “asshatman69”. People who are interested in civil debate and genuine participation over ranting will value services that have a growing population of Connect logins and as the pendulum shifts the result will be that the quality of the overall debate will rise as a consequence of the natural discounting of pseudonym posted comments. Real people with serious things to say will crowd out the shouters.

It also goes without saying that the ability to aggregate a stream that builds around a person rather than a site will enable new discovery capabilities.

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