What The Twitter/Google Announcement Means

Google’s got a new partner at Friend Connect, their service to let users log in to third party websites with their user credentials from social networks.

Last week at Le Web conference MySpace was doing all the heavy lifting to promote Google Friend Connect. But it turns out Twitter is the first third party service after Plaxo to actually integrate with Google’s new service.

What The New Announcement Means

For users, it just means you can use your Twitter credentials to sign into third party sites like Billboard For The People, and pull in your Twitter friends and some profile information.

But for Twitter, it’s a real change in policy and an illustration of just how much they’ve grown in the last year. Back in May Twitter was seen as a relying party in the Google/MySpace/Facebook war, and they hastily chose MySpace as their partner of choice (Data Availability is now called MySpaceID). In their launch announcement for Data Availability MySpace showed a Twitter log in screen where users were using their MySpace account to access Twitter.

That partnership was never integrated, and MySpace won’t say when or if it will be. But today Twitter is using Google’s infrastructure to push their their own agenda. Twitter is effectively saying they don’t need Facebook’s or MySpace’s help with user registrations. Instead, they can compete head to head with both of them in the race to “own” user identities.

Twitter is coming of age, and this announcement is just one more piece of evidence that they have arrived.

Update: Google emails “Users can sign-in or join a friend connected website using their Google, Yahoo, AIM, or OpenID credentials. The Twitter integration occurs after a user has already signed in, at which point he can (as you mentioned) choose to link his Twitter profile to his Friend Connect profile, see which of the people he follows have joined the same site, and “tweet” back to his followers by clicking “invite” and then clicking “share.””