google-facebook-connectGoogle has announced the international launch of Friend Connect, and the integration of 47 international languages, including the following Indic languages – Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu.

Friend Connect allows publishers to integrate a Google login with their website, thus allowing their visitors to comment using their Google ID. Several gadgets are available with the application, including those for a Q&A (Answers), ratings, polls, event promotion, among others. Google provides publishers with greater options for interactivity, and has the opportunity to store data on usage on the site. Note that Orkut, probably the most popular social networking site in India, also has also integrated Friend Connect.

Competing with this product is Facebook Connect, with which users can post comments using their Facebook account. The website shows a users profile boxes, gives publishers access to more data on their users and their friends. Users can share a publishers content, stream stories etc.

In India

The integration of Orkut into Friend Connect means that the user tends to remain logged into the Google ecosystem, as does Facebook, in case of Facebook Connect. Facebook Connect has recently tried to push usage in India with the launch of, among other things, a developer contest for Facebook integration, including, prizes of $4000, $2000 and $1000 to publishers who integrate Facebook. Google’s inclusion of languages is far sighted, though, and there is

(Also Read- Details of Facebooks India Push)

Advantages & Disadvantages Of ‘Connect’

From a publishers perspective, why would you want to give away a premium piece of your online real estate to a Google or a Facebook, and allow your users to develop a connect with them, rather than with you? There are benefits, in terms of more information about users, and the lure of traffic from sharing, or tools you can use.

For a user – and this is the real battle between Google and Facebook – either a Google account or a Facebook Login becomes a unique identifier of sorts. Both services ensure that the user is logged into their account at all times, and have the opportunity of gaining better insight into usage patterns, which they can use to deliver advertising. It also ensures that the user identified or persists with their brand, rather than the other.

Interestingly, a precursor and a peer to Friend Connect and Facebook Connect is the Open ID project, which had received some support to begin with, but was met with some concerns: firstly, that a single ID as a login to multiple sites means that can potentially lose access to multiple sites if it is hacked into. Secondly, the issue of privacy – with too much usage information being tracked about an individual user across the web.

Related:

— Our Indic Language Segment
—  Facebook Usage In India Grows As Orkut Misses A Trick