Facebook Bows Out of Google Friend Connect Market Opportunity

CampfireOne 024
[Caption: Dave Morin of Facebook at Google's CampFire One event, to the right of David Recordon of OpenID fame]

The biggest surprise in Google’s announcement of Friend Connect was Facebook’s participation as a “social graph provider.”

As a participant in and survivor of “Scoblegate,” I know all too well what a big deal it would be for Facebook to allow portability of their social graph to Google’s visionary project to socially-enable the long-tail of the Web.

At Monday’s CampFire One event on the Google campus, I was excited to see Dave Morin, who heads up the Platform at Facebook. Were they really participating in Google Friend Connect? Man, I knew this was big, but that would make it something HUGE!

Today, we all learned from Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, that Facebook has decided to *not* participate in this exciting opportunity. In an official Facebook blogpost Facebook reveals their heartburn over privacy issues and violation of various Facebook terms and conditions. So, they blocked Google’s Friend Connect application. Wow!

Could it really be true? At Plaxo (disclaimer/reminder: I head up marketing there), we believe that Google’s Friend Connect represents an enormous opportunity for the social networks participating as Social Graph Providers. As they light up the long tail of the Social Web, we want our users to be able to fully leverage their investment in creating a truly useful, fully-articulated social graph within Plaxo Pulse, categorizing their real-world relationships as family, friend, or business. We want our users to be able to take their local piece of the social graph with them, wherever they go across the Social Web. And we are confident that Google’s Friend Connect is a great vehicle for making that a reality.

Is it really possible that Facebook will cede this market opportunity to us? As a business person, I sure hope so! :)

But as a citizen of the Web, I hope not. Openess and competition leads to innovation and more choices.

I can hardly wait to see how this all plays out! Here’s the latest on the drama, again from TechCrunch.

And Dave, I’m not really trying to harsh on you or Facebook here. I do believe you guys are working on opening up, and am keen to hear the details when you’re ready. (And I hope you’re not reading all this from your vacation in Hawaii. Aloha.)

And if you’re thirsting for more, here’s a link to a video Robert Scoble shot at the Google CampFire One event. He interviews me before it all gets going, but if you make it to the end, you can see Dave Morin arrive and give his props to Scoble.

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One thought on “Facebook Bows Out of Google Friend Connect Market Opportunity

  1. inAm says:

    Great post man !

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