Google announced their new Friend Connect today and will be demoing it tonight at the Google Campfire event. While I won’t be present at it, I’m sure there will be plenty of bloggers covering it. Throughout the day I’ve been discussing this new service with other people in the industry including Frank Gruber who asks “How does Google Friend Connect put users in control?”
The reality is that it doesn’t give users much control as Marshall Kirkpatrick points out. The problem is that all applications are placed in iFrames which isn’t really a great solution for anybody. Personally I have high hopes for the upcoming Facebook Connect service but the problem still remains, users don’t really have the control. For Facebook Connect, Facebook gets to be the center of a user’s control. The same thing goes for Myspace’s new program.
But we are the users and we still want control. Well thanks to Snap!, I’ve got the power (hint: you too can have the power by watching the video below) but I don’t have control. This is a great move as all parties move forward. Unfortunately all parties are moving forward in parallel and with their own standards. They each want to control a user’s social experience on the web.
Myspace, Facebook and Google all may succeed at retaining some control but unfortunately it doesn’t make things easier for website owners who will have to choose which platform they will accept until someone makes it possible for all of the systems to work together. The next twelve months will be marked by the opening of these new standards and the launch of a variety of applications but it is still a short-term solution.
We are going to need to make these platforms work together if we’re going to succeed. Who do you think has the power with these new systems?