Google Friend Connect debuted this past spring as it rolled out to a few different sites as part of a private beta program. The idea is pretty simple as it offers an easy way to connect with people on your site via a Google Gadget thus bringing community to a previously community-less site. I like to call it adding a party to a page. Wait a minute this seems like deja vu! Back in November 2006 MyBlogLog offered a similar widget that could be added to your site to help connect everyone in the blogosphere. MyBlogLog was quickly scooped up by Yahoo and has been slowly rolling out new features.
With Facebook starting to allow sites to add Facebook Connect which allows Facebook users to sign in on 3rd party sites and post comments which are then published back to Facebook, Google finally launched Friend Connect publicly just a few weeks ago. I just added Google Friend Connect to SOMEWHAT FRANK. So now SOMEWHAT FRANK readers can connect on the site (see the right rail).
So why is a similar product to that of MyBlogLog attracting interest? Clearly there are a lot of Google users thus Friend Connect makes it easy for those users to connect with each other on the Web. Google has also been aggressively locking down agreements with 3rd party sites like MySpace and Twitter to enable users to sign in with those profile account instead of your Google account making Friend Connect a viable universal profile product down the road. It will be interesting to see what else Google has in store for Friend Connect as it creates profiles for us all which in time could make connecting with friends a lot easier (especially those friends that are not currently or never will be on Facebook).