Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect Suck So Far


I was scanning a few websites today looking for some information on the proper design for a Facebook type newsfeed for Vyoo, which is what I'm putting on our site right now. I came across a few articles about Facebook Connect. I realized that after all hullabaloo over the release of Google's Friend Connect and Facebook Connect and how great they were going to be, we haven't heard a word about them since. Wanna know why? Because they don't do what we all thought they'd do. It's not a way to bring your friends with you all across the web, seamlessly. Or a way to bring your profile with you to other sites. It's a way for you to basically import your contacts - like you can currently do with your email programs. Sure Facebook Connect trumps Google because you don't always have your "friends" as email contacts, but it still isn't that sweet. Or it's a way to authenticate - which may actually be the one big benefit of these offerings. I, like many others, thought this was going to be a way to bring your profile with you around the web. At least Facebook Connect seems more interested in integrating your site with Facebook - allowing you to share feeds, stories, or whatever. Not a way to make the user's life of managing their content any easier.

I also ran across some great discussions about how bad the documentation and implementation of Facebook's technology and API's are. Terrible documentation, non-working code, missing wiki's, pain in the ass Facebook employees. Read all about it (here) - click on the story title at the top! There are some totally fun comments to read too on that page.

3 comments:

molson1 said...

I think you're underrating one of the primary benefits of this technology - simplified authentication. JanRain has a solution called RPX (RPXNow.com) similar to Facebook Connect that allows users to login to websites like interscope.com using their Google, Yahoo, MySpace, AOL or Facebook account.

Lefty said...

@molson1 - I'm not underrating the primary benefit. That IS the benefit. Not the ability to bring your friends with you everywhere like we were supposed to believe.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you. FB documentation is worse that Chinese Algebra. Jeez! Has anyone figured this crap out yet?