Google Announced Google Friend Connect | Is it the Ning Killer?

Google Friend Connect and the Future of Social Networking
Google friend connect is Google’s biggest launch into the social networking space since the creation of Orkut and purchase of You Tube. It allows individuals, organizations, and businesses to set up their own social networks.

Will the Google Friend Connect Social Network Be the Ning Killer?
The two most prominent names in this space are Ning and Crowdvine, with Ning having a decisive advantage. Will this kill Ning? Probably not. Although, on the functional level this has the ability to overtake and significantly mitigate Ning’s explosive growth within 18 to 24 months with by adding features and a robust user community. Currently both are lacking and I suspect this may get lost in the shuffle at Google. This feels like a diminutive mashup of MySpace and Ning, without all the ads. I honestly miss the top level navigation that Ning gives that aren’t in all the communities on Google Friend Connect. Also, existing social networks on Ning will likely not migrate to the Google platform, given they already have an existing community base. Realistically the next 6 months of user interaction, marketing, and feature roll out may tell the fate of this social networking hopeful. If Ning isn’t the target for this launch who is it? Irrespective, whatever Google learns from this experience they can use it to drive value to their other informational and social enterprises.

User Experience and Customizability
The customizability and widgetizable function here is huge. I’m going to dive in to see if it has the chops to take down Ning. For two examples check out the Obama themed Billboard for the People and the fan site for music group My First Earthquake to get a taste of its benefits and features. The best community, especially if you look at the Charts part of the Qloud music community. However, this level of professional content hijacking isn’t available in all niches and demographics.

Visit Google Friend Connect to check it out or create your own social network. Click on the link to see a quick video on Google Friend Connect. The more I think about it, perhaps its aimed more at My Blog Log, and incidentally Ning by extension.

For more on Google Friend Connect vs. Facebook Connect.

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2 responses to “Google Announced Google Friend Connect | Is it the Ning Killer?

  1. I think the target here is clearly facebook; it’s a pre-emptive move to stop them from becoming the defacto friendship hub on the internet.

    In terms of using this rather than using something like Crowdvine or Ning, I can’t see what’s in it for site owners; none of the membership details of the users are available, so you don’t really own and can’t manage the community that you’re creating. There’s no impetus to move to this from an existing social network, and there’s lots of downside. If you have an existing blog or site that you want to add some social networking features to, then it seems like it would be an easy way to add those though.

  2. While Ning can be about connecting friends and like-minded people it does seem to be grouped around specific topics and interests.

    I view friends connect and FB connect as means for people who know each other (or who want to follow a particular person).

    There are plenty of applications for each so it will be interesting to see how the market segmentation shakes out.

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