Yahoo announced that it will be making Facebook Connect a deeply-integrated part of its site earlier this week. The move surprised some people, because Yahoo itself has historically been the largest social site on the web. By relying on third parties like Facebook for key social features, like friend relationships, the company has now more narrowly defined itself as a content publisher.
But we should get ready for another big Facebook Connect integration, industry sources tell us: MySpace is planning to make it a key part of the site, rolling out a number of Connect features in the first part of 2010. In addition to relying on its own “social graph” of user relationships, MySpace will use the graphs from other sites. — Facebook’s social graph is currently the most reflective of people’s real-life relationships, so apparently it will soon be a significant part of MySpace.
Facebook Connect lets third party web sites access Facebook user data and site features, like sharing activity from other sites to its news feed home page — the idea is that Connect helps other sites get more social, and drives traffic between them and Facebook. For MySpace, as with any other web site, integration with Connect does not necessarily mean there is any special business relationship with Facebook.
Still, the MySpace move might seem even more surprising than Yahoo’s, given that Facebook and MySpace have been big rivals in the past. But the new MySpace management team, led by former Facebook executive Owen Van Natta, has in recent months described its vision as being about “social entertainment,” meaning content like music, videos and games. In September, the company took a step further into integrating third-party sharing services, providing two-way sync with Twitter, so you can tweet from MySpace and or update your MySpace status from Twitter.
Like Yahoo — and AOL, for that matter — the News Corp.-owned company has decided that it is not in the business of providing user identities. Facebook is a friend now, not an enemy. Or perhaps “frenemy.”
We don’t have too many specific details on what the Connect integration will look like, although our sources described it as being “everywhere,” with some News Corp. managers apparently “shocked” by how deep it is.