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Facebook Connect Goes Live

The curtain has been officially raised on Facebook Connect, a feature that links partner Web sites with the profiles of Facebook members.(Techmeme)

Everyday, Facebook looks more and more like a platform instead of just another social networking site. Now, using Facebook Connect, members can share information about the things they're doing outside of Facebook with the friends they're connected to within Facebook. Example: if you write a restaurant review on Citysearch, which is partnered with Facebook, you can post that review to your FB profile. At the same time, FB friends will see your review on Citysearch. Facebook Connect
I know, I know. Privacy concerns. Yadda yadda yadda.

But no one says you HAVE to do this. As members, you have options - no one is forcing this on you or somehow compromising the Facebook experience you already like with one that will become too intrusive. Case in point: I use a "Share on Facebook" browser toolbar button on Firefox so that, if I'm reading a news story or come across a video or just stumble upon an interesting blog post, all I have to do is click that browser button and I can instantly share that item with friends by posting it on my profile. I don't have to share - but if I want to, I have a handy tool that makes it easier.

Also see: Larry Dignan: Facebook Connect: The masses and the fishbowl

Facebook posted some information about Connect on its own blog today. I have to admit, I love the last paragraph of that entry. It reads:
Obviously our launch partners don't cover all the websites you use on a daily basis, so if you want to see this list grow, get in touch with your favorite websites, developers, and services, and tell them you want to connect. With your help, we can all share more information across the web.
That's how things work in the viral / social networking world. Instead of sending Facebook folks out there to drum up partnerships with Web sites, let the members put the pressure on their favorite sites in hopes that those site owners will reach out to Facebook to make the connection.

Sam Diaz is a senior editor at ZDNet. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations. This post first appeared on ZDNet's Between the Lines blog.