Google+ To Integrate With Blogger

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Up-and-coming social network Google+ will soon be integrated with Google’s blogging platform, Blogger, according to a message now appearing in the “Edit User Profile” section of Blogger’s Settings.

The message reads “Connect Blogger to Google+ : Use your Google profile and get access to upcoming Google+ features on Blogger,” and includes links to “Learn more” and “Get Started.” Unfortunately, the links are dead-ends right now, so we don’t yet know what type of integration is being planned.

The “Learn More” link is currently dumping to this “page not found” message in Blogger’s Help Center, while the “Get Started” link simply redirects logged-in users to their Blogger Dashboard.

The message was spotted first Alex Chitu of the unofficial Google news source, Google Operating System. Chitu says it’s obvious that Blogger profiles will be discontinued and replaced by Google Profiles – the profiles which are now used by the Google+ social network.

He also speculates that the Google+ integration will be used to introduce additional social features that have been provided in the past by Google Friend Connect. That service, which offers social gadgets that can be embedded on personal websites and blogs, now seems to be obsolete since Google+ has arrived. Google has already closed the Google Friend Connect Help Forum and has shut down the Friend Connect discussion group. It’s well past time for Google to officially shut down the actual website for the service too.

Friend Connect currently lists gadgets that provide access to blog readers’ user profiles, a “social bar” highlighting members’ activities, a ratings and reviews gadget, a comments gadget and more. Chitu says it’s possible we’ll soon see even deeper integration between Blogger’s commenting system and Google+ comments in the future, thanks to the forthcoming integration.

That would position Google+ against Facebook on another front beyond just social networking: blog commenting. Facebook Comments (such as those used here on TechCrunch) provide a way for authenticated users to sign in using their Facebook credentials in order to leave a comment. The drawback, of course, to using a system such as this is that it requires commenters to post using their “real” identity, not a pseudonym. While somewhat effective against trolling and other bad behaviors, it also has it drawbacks. (For more on the pros and cons of Facebook Comments, see Erick’s coverage here).

With the recent news that Google+ will soon be supporting the use of pseudonyms, it sets up the social network as a platform that could soon rival Facebook as another option for sign-ins, authentication and therefore, for blog commenting as well. Integration with its own blogging service, Blogger, is surely just the first step.

UPDATE: It’s official!

From the Blogger blog:

Today we’re excited to announce the first way you will be able to leverage Google+ — by making it possible to replace your Blogger profile with your Google+ profile. In addition to giving your readers a more robust and familiar sense of who you are, your social connections will see your posts in their Google search results with an annotation that you’ve shared the post. Plus, bloggers who switch will automatically get access to the Google+ integrations we’ll be rolling out in the future. If you blog under a pseudonym and you don’t want to connect your common name with your blog, this integration may not work for you. That’s why we’ve made it completely optional to switch. This option is available for all users today in our testing ground, Blogger in Draft, and will be accessible from www.blogger.com in the coming weeks. If you have a Google+ account and would like to replace your Blogger profile with your Google+ profile, log in to draft.blogger.com and click “Get started” on the promotion message, pictured below.