Facebook Pulls Out of Google Friend Connect

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 16, 2008

Google’s new Friend Connect initiative is in trouble. On May 15, Facebook effectively pulled out of participation in Google Friend Connect service, which links social networks and traditional Web sites. “Now that Google has launched Friend Connect, we’ve had a chance to evaluate the technology. We’ve found that it redistributes user information from Facebook to other developers without users’ knowledge, which doesn’t respect the privacy standards our users have come to expect and is a violation of our Terms of Service. Just as we’ve been forced to do for other applications that redistribute data in a way users might not expect or understand, we’ve had to suspend Friend Connect’s access to Facebook user information until it comes into compliance,” according to Facebook.

My take: Facebook just realized just how dangerous Friend Connect is. The service lets Google know which social networks and friends users interact with. That could eventually allow Google to lure away advertisers from social networks.

Alas, Facebook isn’t stupid. It was the only non-Google property to participate in Friend Connect. Now that it’s pulled out, the initiative turns into nothing more than yet another way to link fellow Google properties. And that turns a cool project into a blah project.

Reader Comments

Kevin Heisler

May 16, 2008 2:29 PM

I think you're absolutely right that Facebook realized the danger FriendConnect posed. My hunch is they knew it early on but didn't want to be the "bad guys" and shut out Google from the get-go.

http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/080516-110559

dg

May 16, 2008 2:49 PM

One of many troubles as far as I can tell. Definitely lacking a good integrated example to really show what it is all about. So far, it seems to me, Flux.com is a much better example of OpenSocial.

TinkyWinky

May 16, 2008 3:22 PM

Could also be a M$ string in the background just pulling a rug from G?

Shark

May 16, 2008 3:38 PM

Facebook claiming they won't due things due to privacy concerns is the most laughable thing ever.

Ian Hendry

May 19, 2008 5:18 AM


Let's remember that Facebook Connect, announced 3 days earlier, isn't a whole lot different in what it offers. To me as a website owner, following FB withdrawing support for Google Friend Connect, the Facebook offering is worth more than enabling Google users to socialise on our site.

Ian Hendry
WeCanDo.BIZ
http://www.wecando.biz

Upeksha

October 24, 2008 1:15 AM

I have used Facebook Connect and Its very convenient as well. This Friends Link seems to be very troublesome and I doubt about the security holes. And I didn't see much of APIs and Java support as Facebook Connect does.. Any idea?

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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