So what is this Facebook Connect thing? Let us consider a scenario where you are supposedly a very appreciated critic, say for novels or may be movies and your presence is known only online. What you do day in and day out is read movie blogs and post comments. Your comments are read by the users and are highly appreciated. So far so good. But is it the only blog where you comment? No. You must be doing the same on other Movie blogs to. So it may be possible that you are actually not utilizing your reader base to it`s max. As the user who is present on one blog community, there is a fifty-fifty chance that he might not be present on the other blog where you have posted a similar rocking comment. Come Facebook Connect and all your problems are solved.
Assuming that all your blogs are Facebook Connect enabled, you now just need to login via your Facebook Account and post yet another rocking comment of your`s, then you get an option for posting a notification about your comment to your Facebook Wall automatically. Now your fans just need to add you on Facebook and they stay up-to-date with all the commentship you do on the web. Neat, ain`t it?
What does all this mean to a Website / Blog owner, Web Manager ?
Well, Facebook Connect is a boon for all of those who run websites and need users to register for using their website. This entire authentication mechanism can now be left to Facebook Connect, thus relieving your web server of substantial amount of load and saving you good amount of Bandwidth too. Here are the reasons why.
Firstly, Users on Facebook generally use their real names and share their original E-Mail ids and Phone numbers. Now if your web-application requires them to share the Facebook phone number and email... woohoo, you have both now! But at the end of the day, its the user who decides whether to share his details or not. So both parties are benefitted.
Secondly, Web managers now have a highly reliable authentication system, that of the Facebook`s.
Thirdly, If you are a blogger you can easily share and distribute this information and actions to your friends about interesting content that you have just discovered, share information about yourself, and engage in a lot of experiences via Facebook Feed, requests, and notifications as you move around the open Web.
What does all this mean to a day-to-day user ?
You can increase your awareness among your friends by aggregating your wall with all the new content you stumble upon. As a user moves around the Web, they carry their facebook privacy settings along with them, ensuring that users' information and privacy rules are always up to date and apt. For example, if a user changes their profile picture this will be automatically updated to the external site. Users can also control who can see what, just like you do with Facebook Applications. In other words, the users' privacy rules remain valid across all websites using Facebook Connect.
What does all this mean to Developers?
Ofcourse a lot of Money! Yes!! Since Facebook Connect is now new, Web Manager will be needing developers who will be doing the code integration for them to Connect with Facebook. Developers can add rich social context to their sites and even can dynamically show which of the user`s Facebook friends already have accounts on their sites and have added/or are using the developers' applications.
A comprehensive Facebook Connect FAQ is available here.
In a series of articles, we will be covering how to setup Facebook Connect for your apps and websites.