New project or era for social Web?

The Telegraph calls it a kind of "passport" for Web socializers. Facebook calls it "Facebook Connect." With it, other sites (e.g., Twitter, SixApart, and 22 others so far, The Telegraph says) can use people's Facebook screenname and password instead of storing separate ID info for those users. They can also offer users "the ability to import their list of friends from Facebook," the New York Times reports. Facebook Connect, which won't completely launch until the fall, isn't the only such "passport" system in the works, though. The Telegraph says its competitors are MySpace's Data Availability project and Google's OpenSocial project (Bebo's thrown in with the latter project). Facebook founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg was speaking about this, some other new features, and his view of a more decentralized social Web in future at a social-networking developers conference in San Francisco this week. He spoke, the Times reports, of social networking being "at the beginning of a movement and the beginning of an industry.” Interestingly, Zuckerberg mentioned that more than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside the US, according to The Telegraph. For another key part of his presentation, see also "Facebook to clean up its apps," by my co-director Larry Magid.

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