Washington Post Launches Support For Facebook Connect

Today the Washington Post announced the launch of their Facebook Connect support. The integration is relatively basic but lets users more effectively share content, at least that’s what the Washington Post communications team says. While I was able to log in after they gave me instructions how to, I wasn’t able to figure out how to share the content. Regardless of the existing Connect functionality, this is a relatively big fish for Facebook who just last week announced integration with YouTube.

Facebook continues to roll out Facebook Connect across a number of sites, the largest of which are media companies. Many applications continue to integrate with Facebook Connect including iPhone applications like Zynga’s Live Poker, Mafia Wars, and Word Scramble. Today Zynga CEO Mark Pincus was quoted as saying that he’d like to see Facebook Connect baked into the iPhone “much more deeply.” I’m sure Facebook would like to see that as well Mark!

Regardless of the existing level of integration of Facebook Connect and other platforms, Facebook continues to score big integration deals with large online media companies. The result is that Facebook is increasingly becoming the center of one’s identity on what’s becoming an increasingly social web. The Washington Post is the latest to integrate although it’s a little difficult to figure out what benefits implementing Facebook Connect has provided.

Just last week Craig Stoltz wrote an interesting piece about the Washington Post’s failure of online journalism. While the company may not have smoothly transitioned into the 21st century, they are at least adopting new technologies like Facebook Connect. It’s not surprising to see the Washington Post jump on board though considering that the company’s CEO, Donald Graham, is also a Facebook board member and long-time mentor to Mark Zuckerberg.

Now that the company has integrated with Facebook Connect, the company only has one more board member company to convince to integrate with Connect: Ning. Earlier this morning I wrote about how Facebook Pages are slowly replacing a lot of the functionality within Ning even though they aren’t described as a tool for creating your own social network.

It will be interesting to see what other large digital media companies decide to adopt Facebook Connect as a tool for managing users’ identities. One big component about this integration that I should note is that you don’t need to provide an email address any longer for logging in to the Washington Post, instead Facebook Connect is the only thing necessary.

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