The Connect Wars: Facebook's MySpace Beachhead, Twitter's Coming Launch

Not content to control only their own domains, social web sites are trying to conquer those of everyone else — by becoming the dominant log-in system for the web. Facebook, of course, is off to a quick and convincing start. Inside Facebook reports that MySpace is now using Facebook Connect for its Fan Video feature, which is a kind of JibJab/ElfYourself-like thing where you insert a picture of yourself into a music video. To be fair, this is not so unusual; for instance, Google’s YouTube — a much bigger video site — integrated Facebook Connect last June. However, reports suggest that MySpace will give up the ghost on its own portable profile efforts (it had previously pushed a “Data Availability” product) and use Facebook Connect site-wide instead.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch says that Twitter will soon launch a full competitor to Facebook Connect, which would bundle the company’s existing off-site log-in system with a platform for pulling data back to Twitter that’s more smoothly packaged than its current API support. That move seems overdue.

Google also has its own hat in the ring with Google Friend Connect, and is closely aligned with taking an open standards approach when possible, which may help it win collaborators.

Though Facebook is currently furthest along, many sites will be happy to integrate all of these options and let the market decide. Users, in the meantime, are left with the question: Between what Google knows about you, what Facebook knows about you, or what Twitter knows about you, which is the face you want to present to the rest of the web?

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