Universal log-in tools are becoming increasingly popular with users who want to avoid creating new accounts for each site they go to. Tools like OpenID, Facebook Connect, and Twitter’s OAuth are becoming more popular since they allow users to sign into other sites with a universal log-in. However, Facebook has continued being the pioneer for the social media marketing world, with Facebook Connect’s popularity dwarfing all others and thus making it difficult for other log-in tools to get off the ground.
However, as we’ve noted before, Google has been trying hard to get into the social media marketing game. Their Friend Connect feature actually predated Facebook Connect but it lacked the social network that pushed Facebook Connect to the forefront. Now, in addition to adding Twitter updates to their searches, Google has revamped their Connect feature with more social features. Users can now add interests, send private messages to each other, and other “social” abilities.
This all boils down to the increased publicity social media marketing platforms are receiving. Google sees social media as a vital component of the internet. Friend Connect gathers all the information users provide and provides website owners with the option of building custom newsletters, gadgets, and links that target specific users—which in turn, improves the relevancy of Google ads that appear on their sites. They’re hoping that by making Friend Connect more sociable, websites will begin adopting Friend Connect over Facebook Connect. But, let’s face it— Facebook has a powerful social network that will be tough to beat. And without adopters, these new changes from Google won’t put a dent in Facebook Connect’s influence.