12.05.2008

How Will Users Feel About Facebook Connect?


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So I've obviously been following Facebook Connect for a while, mostly out of my obsession with the idea of data portability and a decentralized, socially contextual Web experience (Note: FBC is NOT really data portability...its really more "data accessability"). There's been a lot of hype over FBC since it just launched a few days ago (although it was announced back in May). Now, I've been thinking about this so much from a non-user perspective, and even wrote a post for Mashable on how Facebook could build a business model around FBC. I've also been so preoccupied with the whole Open vs. Closed debate and my own optimisitic view of what true data portability could mean-- that I fear I have swung too far out from the perspective of the average user. For Web geeks the idea of dp causes near salivation, but what about the average user? What do you think about being able to access your social graph just about anywhere? Imagine, graph data (friend data) layered into your e-shopping experiences (hey, Jenny purchased this t-shirt, or Bob recommends this album), or into your search experience (Ted visited this link) or how about being able to see what music your Facebook Friends downloaded from iTunes? Would you be into it? Or is this all a little too Minority Report? Let me know what you think...

PS: For a list of sites who are currently FBC-enabled click here
Full list of launch partners is here, and yes, Vimeo is FBC-enabled too.

3 comments:

Steve Hall said...

Whoa! I almost popped a brain cell from this wittylicious intelligentsia! I'm just sayin' ;)

Michael said...

I was at a friend's wedding last weekend, talking to some of my friends-who don't live on the internet-whose only socnet interaction is facebook. I heard time and again, "Why do I need to share everything with my friends? Sometimes I like to keep things private."

This really struck me. The friends I was conversing with were all in my age bracket (24-28), all college-educated midwesterners who simply don't have the understanding of where the web is going, like most of us web geeks do.

For facebook's sake, I hope they tread lightly, and carefully, because there are some fb users that simply don't see the utility in FBC. This could have Beacon-esque backlash if they aren't proceeding with care.

alisa leonard-hansen said...

@Michael

Thanks for this feedback, I think you bring up some good points. While we ("web geeks") tend to be overly technologically optimistic, its important to keep in mind the average user (person). And your point about FB treading lightly is good advice. It will be interesting to watch the adoption rate, and if people are signing into (FBC-enabled) sites more and more with their FB credentials or not. I have to admit, as much as I have been anticipating FBC, when logging into Vimeo last, I still used my Vimeo credentials...

That said, I do think someday we'll have ubiquitous access to our graph data across the Web, but to your point, consumer familiarity with this kind of web experience must come first. That's why I think the closed garden of FBC will win out (over OpenID and open standards) at first...and only after some time when the idea of a social contextual web experience begins normal will open standards really gain traction and ultimately win out.

But who knows, we'll see...