Facebook Connect is beginning to materialize and we’re on the ground floor: TechCrunch readers can now use their Facebook accounts to sign in before leaving comments.
Doing so yields several benefits. Most immediately, you’ll no longer have to enter a name, email address and website manually before dropping your two cents. Just click once on the “Connect” button that sits next to the comment form and we’ll automatically detect who you are, even on return visits.
Hooking things up with Facebook also lets us display your profile portrait in miniature form next to your name in the header of comments. Your name conveniently links to your Facebook profile as well, making it easier for other commenters to get in touch with you and perhaps become your virtual friends.
But Facebook Connect doesn’t let information flow just one way. You can now post notifications of your comments to your Facebook wall whenever contributing here on TechCrunch. After hitting the “Add Comment” button, just select a type of feed item (which Facebook calls a “story”) and your friends on Facebook will have the chance to appreciate your snark and wit.
There’s a lot more that can be done with Facebook Connect to enhance the social aspects of TechCrunch, so expect to see more elaborate Facebook-enabled features in the future, such as the ability to see which of your friends are also TechCrunch readers. In the meantime, try this implementation out and let us know what you think in the comments (naturally). Suggestions about how we should expand our usage of Facebook Connect are also most welcome.
Note to Windows users: Facebook Connect on TechCrunch doesn’t play nicely with Internet Explorer 6. Use this as an opportunity to upgrade, assuming it’s within your power to do so. And if it’s not, you probably don’t want your boss noticing how much time you spend on TechCrunch during business hours anyway.
Special thanks to Adam Hupp and Josh Elman at Facebook for their help in making this happen.
Also check out the test application we developed with MySpace Data Availability back in June.
Update: You can see which of your friends have commented on TechCrunch by going here on Facebook.