On the heels of Google’s international launch of Friend Connect which boasted support for 47 languages including 9 Indian ones, Facebook has upgraded its own universal login interface to support 64 languages, listed here. As TechTree reported, website owners and publishers who use Facebook Connect can now specify different languages. But it has added only six Indic languages – Tamil, Telugu, Arabic, Malayalam, Hindi and Bengali. Connect is still tying up with websites and blogs so it will be some time before we start seeing regional websites with a Connect with Facebook button on them.
For users, Connect offers freedom from registration processes on other non-paid websites – Bollywood movie websites, news sites, etc. Take Digg, a news aggregator, for example. With Facebook Connect, users can login to their Facebook accounts, and use it to comment on the latest story on Digg, which will appear as a Facebook notification.
It also makes it easier to add friends on forums – two friends on Facebook who join a forum will automatically be friends in the forum’s database. You can also follow what your friends are posting on Digg. While you might think that this solves most of your problems with numerous usernames and passwords, the downside is that information you have put up on your social profile will being shared with these websites. Frankly, why would you want to leave a trail, and let Facebook know which sites you visit?
Apps In Connect?
Speaking to MediaNama at Proto.in last week, Ruchi Sanghvi, Sr. Product Manager at Facebook claimed that Facebook has around 51,000 Indian developers. She declined to comment on whether Facebook would integrate applications into Facebook Connect, like Google has into Friend Connect. Inevitable, we say.
Orkut & Facebook Start Linking To The Rest Of The Web
Facebook Connect has been implemented on 15,000 devices, applications and websites, Google claims Friend Connect is used by 5 million websites. Some websites that use Friend Connect gadgets such as Comments, Ratings and Reviews, Polls and Get Answers are Earth Hour, iSketch and Virgin Global Row. Facebook is integrated with blogs and other websites such as WordPress, NetworkedBlogs, The Run Around (a sample website that logs how many miles you have run recently, which can be posted on your Facebook profile), MediaWiki and Joomla.
The principle behind Connect is to ensure users stay logged into their social networking accounts even as they browse through other websites and use Orkut or Facebook to share a video with friends, or save a link to a website. Goodbye bookmarking or ‘copy-paste’-ing a link to your chat application: it’s easier to let a pop-up post the video you liked with a snazzy thumbnail or a link to your comment on a website directly to your profile instead.
Boost To Regional Websites
With this increase in number of languages supported, social networking sites will be able to woo more regional websites and content owners into partnering with them. Developing the ecosystem so Indian language websites are more accessible might contribute more Indic language content back to the Internet: something experts and Wikipedia meet-ups have been discussing for a while now.
Facebook has been striving to grow its userbase in India, inking partnerships with TV channels, telcos and VAS firms. It has also actively engaged the developer community with contests. Meanwhile Orkut, though lagging behind in releases and integration, still continues to be more popular in India than Facebook.