Saturday, March 14, 2009

Facebook Connect for iPhone Launches

Image representing Facebook Connect as depicte...Image via CrunchBase

Facebook Connect which provides users the ability to use their Facebook accounts to sign in and interact with websites is an impressive evolution of the Facebook Platform. Providing users the ability to login to a partner site with their Facebook account, interact and publish the activity back to the newsfeed. Providing trusted authentication, real identity, friend linking and dynamic privacy, Facebook Connect has real potential and is in a strong position to control the Open space.

Today speaking from the SXSW Interactive event, Dave Morin, Facebook's senior platform manager spoke about The Search for a More Social Web -
The Web is not just about information; its about people. In this presentation, Facebook's Dave Morin will discuss the industry's efforts to move toward a more social Web, and how openness can create a better experience for users sharing and connecting across the Web
At the conference he said that computers have largely been antisocial - it was only with the advent of the computer that we've been playing games with ourselves. He spoke about the recent updates to the social networking site and then introduced a wide-ranging integration of the company's Facebook Connect platform with iPhone applications, aiming to connect friends, using their true identities, through popular mobile apps.
Facebook Connect, with more than 6,000 websites already taping into user data, has come to the iPhone. Now all iPhone developers can use Facebook Connect to have their apps leverage the profile, friends, and feed data available for users via Facebook. The glorious advantage for all of us users is that now we can connect with our Facebook network while playing or using our favorite apps and games. - Jennifer Van Grove [Source]
People count on Facebook to stay connected to their friends and family. With Facebook Connect, they can take their friends with them wherever they take their iPhone. Developers can add rich social experiences to their apps, from playing games with friends, to seeing their movie recommendations, chatting during live sports games, and many more.
If you've used Facebook Connect on the Web, this will seem pretty familiar. You can now use Facebook Connect on your iPhone in the same way you can for a website. Simply download any application featuring Facebook Connect and log in using your Facebook account from your iPhone. Then, you'll be able to easily find your Facebook friends. They will be able to see the same profile information as they can on the site, controlled by your privacy settings. You can also share what you're doing with your iPhone applications with all of your Facebook friends by publishing stories back to your profile. - Joe Hewitt [Source]
For instance, you can use Facebook Connect with the Urban Spoon application. Urbanspoon on the iPhone is part Magic 8 Ball, part slot machine. You shake your phone and it finds a good nearby restaurant for you. Keep shaking it until it comes back with something you want to try. With the Facebook Connect integration you can check what restaurants your friends have tried and also their ratings.


Another application I tested using Facebook Connect was Flixster which allows you to share movie reviews and ratings with friends. This appears to already be a popular service with my friends as there were many reviews available from them. I will be definitely checking this iPhone application when I next have to make a decision on what movie to watch.


Also available within the iPhone App Store confirmed with Facebook Connect integration, include apps and games from Playfish, SGN, Tapulous, Whrrl, Zynga, and Binary Game. I expect this number to increase considerably over the coming weeks as what iPhone developer isn't going to want to integrate with Facebook and their 190 million users.

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