Facebook Connect: another distribution channel for newspapers?

It would appear so.

The Website of the San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate.com just began integrating Facebook’s new Facebook Connect service into its user comments and, presumably, other aspects of the site in the future.

Facebook Connect is a service that allows Website owners to integrate their site with Facebook in such a way that users can log-in using their Facebook account info and interact with their friends via third party sites. For example, a user logged into Site X using Facebook Connect can publish items or actions to their Facebook “News Feed” without having to navigate over to Facebook.com.

Facebook Connect in action.

Facebook Connect in action.

The example provided by the Facebook Developers site is a live demo of a Web-based app for runners. Sign in to the Facebook Connect-enabled site, record your latest run (how many miles, where, etc.), and then automatically publish those details to Facebook.

This, like Google’s OpenSocial and similar initiatives, clearly lends itself to a more open Web in the future, and provides for the data portability that users desire. It’ll be interesting to see what other sites integrate with it, and how it all pans out.

In the meantime, Facebook Connect can be a tool for news organizations to use to help tear down those walls they built around their lovely gardens – aka content – during the first decade of the Web. If nothing else, it’s another distribution channel for content.

SFGate.com is one of the first “traditional” news organizations to get involved, integrating Facebook Connect with their Website’s commenting system. Thus, when a user posts a comment on SFGate.com, they can choose to simultaneously publish it to their Facebook News Feed, thereby putting a link back to SFGate’s content in front of their entire Facebook network of friends, many of whom, naturally, share the same interests.

Seems like a smart move for newspapers who, considering current trends, need to figure out how to change their business models and content distribution strategies before it’s too late.

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3 Responses to Facebook Connect: another distribution channel for newspapers?

  1. Ted says:

    Have you tried integrating this onto any of the sites you work on yet?

    Also, do you know if there are any plugins for WordPress to enable Facebook Connect?

  2. chips zynga says:

    lol one or two of the opinions folks write make me giggle, time after time i question whether they truly read the content articles and threads before writing a comment or if perhaps they barely read the subject of the post and compose the initial thought that drifts into their heads. anyway, it’s pleasurable to browse through keen commentary from time to time instead of the same, classic post vomit that i mainly observe on the web i’m going to play a smattering of hands of facebook poker farewell

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