It’s like a war, except with programmers and social networks instead of soldiers and anti-aircraft artillery. First Google opened up its distributed social net, Google Friend Connect — which I have installed in my sidebar and also embedded below — and then Facebook threw open the doors on its version, imaginatively called (what else) Facebook Connect. The aim of both ventures is the same: to allow you to use your login credentials from the network on various sites around the Web, bringing your social profile with you wherever you go. In the process, both companies no doubt hope to entice more people to build a social network based on their tools and services (for some reason I’m reminded of the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church at this point, but that might just be me).

Eric Eldon has a good overview of the differences at VentureBeat, and there is also plenty of coverage at places like Read/Write Web, as well as All Facebook and the always excellent Gina Trapani at Lifehacker. Looking at both of them got me wondering about whether sites like the New York Times will integrate either Friend Connect or Facebook Connect and make them work with the paper’s TimesPeople network, or whether it will work with other distributed social tools like Glue from adaptiveblue.com, which I’ve been testing recently. It’s nice to see ways of connecting to networks without having to actually go to the respective websites all the time.

(Note: My Google Friend Connect box looks somewhat pathetic at the moment — so click on the “join” button and add yourself to my network)

About the author

Mathew 2414 posts

I'm a Toronto-based former senior writer with Gigaom and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

16 Responses to “Nerd fight: Google vs. Facebook”
  1. [blog post] Nerd fight: Google vs. Facebook: It?s like a war, except with programmers an.. http://tinyurl.com/5rzlks

  2. Joined the network, it already looks much better Mathew :) As for the topic itself, I wonder if it will ever happen that companies start to think about their users first and not about their own interests. If Google's Friend Connect could have data to Facebook users and social graph, it could really be useful – otherwise it will have very poor chances of wide adoptation, even despite of the fact that it is the almighty Google.

    • Thanks, Svetlana. I agree that inter-operability would make things like Google Friend Connect and Facebook Connect a lot better.

  3. […] Google will struggle to best Facebook in this battle for position (which Mathew Ingram calls a nerd fight), because it lacks a popular social network to provide user relationships on other sites … […]

  4. […] more on Google Friend Connect vs. Facebook Connect. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Google’s ’Friend Connect’ Offers a […]

  5. This is just me testing out friend connect. Hope you don't mind that I am using your blog as a guinea pig. BTW, what happens to stuff like Disqus now? Are you logged on to both?

    • That’s a good question — hopefully Disqus and other similar systems
      will be able to integrate with Google Connect at some point.

  6. now i'd love to see google friend connect login work for my disqus comments on my blog really integrating the 2 so my readers don't have to login/set up a new account for disqus. do you know if that is available???

  7. Why don't these two companies just help each other?

  8. Hi Mathewi

    I am a developer and I am developing an application where we can post comments on a video.We have integrated google friend connect into our website.
    Is there a way to post our website comments to google friend conenct so that the comments will show up in the comments section of the GFC.

    If there is a way can you please send me some sample code or some links where we can do it and I would be really grateful to you.

  9. nice post, ill be checking back for more updates :)

  10. Great article!
    I don’t think Google is afraid of Facebook in the same way they weren’t afraid of Youtube. Ya…Google are obviously seeing Facebook are a big longterm threat. I’ve been wondering if the new Google OS for mobiles is part of this. Facebook will become massive via mobile.

  11. Great article!
    I don’t think Google is afraid of Facebook in the same way they weren’t afraid of Youtube. Ya…Google are obviously seeing Facebook are a big longterm threat. I’ve been wondering if the new Google OS for mobiles is part of this. Facebook will become massive via mobile.

  12. excellent post, thank you for sharing! I will have to come back more often :)

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