Google Introduces Friend Connect

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Earlier this week, Google announced a preview release of the newest addition to its product mix, Google Friend Connect, a service that helps website owners grow traffic by enabling sites on the web to easily add social features to their websites.

By offering Friend Connect, which can be added to a web property simply by inserting a snippet of code on the site, Google removes the technological barriers of offering social applications.

Website owners can now attract more traffic to their sites and keep visitors engaged utilizing the social gadgets created by Google and OpenSocial developers. Some of the main gadgets offered are:

  • Member management
  • Message board
  • Reviews
  • Picture-sharing

So in a nutshell, Google Friend Connect helps website owners in three major ways:

Increase Traffic: Visitors get engaged and bring along their Internet friends and connections from social networks such as Facebook, orkut and MySpace.

Improve Engagement KPIs: Web users become more involved by engaging with social features developed by Google and the OpenSocial developer community.

Reduce Cost to Market: With no programming needed, the technological and financial obstacles to adding social features to the sites are removed.

Friend Connect will also give Google more insight into websites’ audiences by mapping a virtual representation of a social user on the web. This will eventually help Google provide more robust advertising through Google AdSense and Placement Targeting by providing demographic and interest segmentation.

This Google application also has major implications for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) as it incorporates user-generated content on the sites.

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