Friend Connect: Social Networking for all?

Google’s upcoming Friend Connect service aims to give anyone the opportunity to add social networking features to their website, without the exorbitant development costs.

Site owners just cut and paste bits of code to add functions like  user registration, invitations, members galleries, message posting and reviews.

Visitors to these sites can also sign in using their existing social network registrations from FaceBook, Hi5 and others, sharing content with their groups of friends elsewhere.

It’s a great move that offers small independent websites some of the reach of social media marketing, even if they’d previously dismissed it as being outside budget.

However, it won’t meet the grade for businesses and brands – the slightly clunky look and feel combined with the fact many important networks are yet to be integrated means that, at least for a while, Friend Connect may well be limited to artists and interest groups.

See the previews of Friend Connect

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