Facebook Connect is a game changer in a way that Google Friend Connect isn’t. As the name suggests, it’s all about connecting people. But is Facebook missing a major social trick with their chat software?
Earlier (now last night for anyone in Greenwich Mean Time), I was trying to watch some sport while chatting to my eldest nephew via Facebook. As an aside, he completely messed up the channel selection and was immediately designated the title of Fail Male. But I digress.
Problem is, I was either flicking between tabs, or between web browser applications. As you can well imagine, this isn’t an ideal solution.
Think of all those times you and a friend are using some IM (Instant Messaging) application while watching a video on YouTube. What if you could do that in one window?
A few days earlier, an article popped up on my social media radar, which made me smile; someone had written an article I could have easily have written myself. Let’s face it, Twitter has ample room for improvement, and Jacob Gube had outlined ten excellent features to help make Twitter work better.
I’m nearly always think “but what if…” when I’m using something; be it software or hardware. That’s just the way I am. Much like Jacob, I’m always looking for a better way of doing what I do. So with that as backdrop, Facebook got fed sideways into my “What if?” engine, for some technological tire kicking.
Facebook Connect + web page + group chat = the true social web
Facebook now have this option that embeds their share and comment options at the top of web pages and blog articles linked to from Facebook. What if you could do that, but include their chat tool, too?
Better yet, what if their chat tool linked to their Connect service, letting you chat with anyone who was on the same web page or blog article you were?
Now that’s what I call closing the Social Loop:
“In closing this Social Loop, we’re attempting to bring people to the content from known venues like Digg, StumbleUpon, Pownce, et cetera, and presenting them with the option to connect with you.”
Facebook would, in one fell swoop, solve a massive problem, narrowing the gaping void between social networking and instant messaging:
“IM (Instant Messaging) is for most people a vital part of their work flow. Social Networkers like me rely on Skype and MSN Messenger to stay in touch with clients. Problem is, IM falls outside what I call Social Loop.”
Right now, Facebook have that very technology at their fingertips.
Just imagine every web page or blog article becoming a social web community, where everyone can connect, share and communicate on a scale hitherto unseen before.
Facebook would have to work on the permissions side of things, to grant some more fine grained access privileges for our profiles, but the benefits and the social stickiness would be truly spectacular.
Think of how many times people share the same article on Facebook. Now think of all those small, isolated conversations, where people comment and vote up those shared articles. What if all of those different conversations could be drawn together, pulling in the comments from the blog article itself?
If we accept that each blog is in itself a walled, self-contained community, Facebook Connect could aggregate all of those disparate and disconnected conversations, and in doing so, pulling together people who might otherwise not ever connect in any meaningful way, despite having the same or similar interests.
In this scenario, the theme is the foundation and the conversation is the house within which we would all reside — now that’s what I call socializing the web, one web page at a time…