Google has integrated Friend Connect with its weblog publishing service Blogger. Essentially, this enables people to start following (i.e. subscribing to) blogs using their Google, Yahoo, AIM or OpenID accounts and turns Blogger more into a social network than a straightforward blog publishing service.
Blogs that you follow will be listed in your Blogger profile and the integration will also leverage existing relationships, meaning you’ll be able to quickly see if your friends are also following those blogs.
The integration was announced on Google’s new Social Web Blog, and the post promises more goodies in the future:
And this is just the first step in the integration, so be sure to stay tuned for further improvements, including an easy way to add OpenSocial gadgets through Blogger and the integration of the commenting features.
Here’s a video:
Just two weeks ago, Google introduced what it calls the Social Bar, a way for webmasters to include a small strip on top of their web pages and to enable them to add links for drop-down gadgets that lets visitors do things such as sign in via Friend Connect, see who else has signed in recently, check out comments, etc.
Google Friend Connect, which is the company’s own data portability effort, was opened up for all websites in the beginning of December 2008, right when Facebook made Facebook Connect generally available as well.
And thus, the battle for who will control access to your online identity continues. My guess is it’ll go on for a while before someone can be declared the winner, if at all.