Google's Friend Connect Gets an API

Google this week released a new API for Friend Connect (our new Friend Connect API Profile), its relatively new service that enables social networking features to be easily added to any existing web site (utilizing copy and paste code that leverages OpenID, OAuth, and OpenSocial). The API allows developers to tap into some of the core features of Friend Connect.

Friend Connect API

The initial offering includes a JavaScript API, server-side integration with REST/RPC protocols, and blog, CMS, and forum plugins (including WordPress, Drupal, and PhpBB). According to the Google Social Web Blog, the new Friend Connect APIs offer something for anyone who is interested in helping the web become more social:

  • Site owners - Integrate Friend Connect more deeply into your site. JavaScript APIs allow you to integrate a social community directly within the markup of your page, and our REST APIs allow you integrate existing login systems and your existing data with new social data and activities. These are your visitors and this is your site, so you should be able to add social features the way you want.
  • Plugin developers - Make plugins to integrate with popular content management systems, bulletin boards, or any open framework. To get you started, we have created open source plugin samples for WordPress, Drupal, and phpBB.
  • Gadget developers - Make OpenSocial applications with greater control over how data flows across servers with signed requests. Use server-side authentication mechanisms so that a site with Friend Connect can act as an OpenSocial container.

With this release, Google has provided several resources for developers, including a Getting Started Guide, Articles, Code Examples, and Google Group. This is an exciting move forward for Friend Connect, which holds the promise to expand the reach of the OpenSocial social graph to numerous web sites.

Be sure to read the next Social article: Facebook Opens User Activity Stream to Developers


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