Facebook, Google Truce in the Works at F8
Google's OpenSocial guru David Glazer speaks optimistically about the social Web at F8, where it looks like he and his colleagues could be hugging it out with Facebook over Google's Friend Connect service. Will Facebook allow Friend Connect to grace its site one day?SAN FRANCISCO-Is Facebook close to allowing Google's Friend Connect to work on its social network? That's the big question that came to mind after I spied David Glazer, Google's lead engineer for OpenSocial, and fellow Google OpenSocial engineers Peter Chane and Graham Spencer at the Facebook F8 Conference here July 23.
Glazer and the others were attending a breakout session on Facebook Connect hosted by Facebook's Dave Morin and Mike Vernal for a fraction of the 400,000 Facebook application developers who attended the one-day event.
Facebook Connect makes user profile information portable, allowing users to take their identity and friends with them to any third-party Web site, desktop application or device, while maintaining the privacy of users.
Google has already launched a similar service called Friend Connect, which Facebook promptly banned because the company said it violated its privacy rules. Friend Connect is based on the OpenSocial API Google created and donated to open source.
Facebook's move sent up a big cautionary flag: If Friend Connect is supposed to exemplify the open Web, why ban it? It also underscored the delicacy of privacy issues, which both Facebook and Google take seriously.
I caught up with Glazer after the Facebook Connect session to ask him if Friend Connect works on Facebook yet and if there had been any progress on that front.
"Friend Connect does not work on Facebook today," Glazer said. "Obviously, Google and Facebook are talking a bunch. You probably saw more than one Google badge here today. ... So it's a good ongoing conversation," he finished, smiling slyly.
Clearly, Glazer was intimating that discussions about getting Friend Connect to work on Facebook were ongoing. It's Wednesday now. How cool would it be if by Thursday or Friday Google and Facebook resolved their differences after meeting at F8?
No knock on Facebook, which put on a fabulously useful and top-notch event, but a Facebook hug of Friend Connect, or even a Facebook friending of OpenSocial, would be fantastic.