Facebook, Google to Join MySpace in Data Portability

Facebook announces Connect, and Google also prepares a data portability initiative.

Facebook May 9 announced Facebook Connect, which allows the company's almost 70 million users to port their identity and friends list securely to other Web sites.

Connect comes a day after MySpace unveiled Data Availability, which allows users to move data to eBay, Yahoo, Twitter and Photobucket, and a couple days before Google will announce its own data portability move, according to sources.

Click Here to Watch the Latest eWEEK Newsbreak Video.

Facebook Connect will allow users to sync their Facebook profile securely with any partner Web site, though there are no partners yet, which means Facebook pulled the trigger simply because MySpace did and Mark Zuckerberg's company doesn't want to appear behind the eight ball.

Users will have the same kind of control as they have for applications that they can leverage on the Facebook Platform, meaning they will have total control of the permissions granted, dictating whether sites that agree to host Facebook data get to see basic profile information, including users' pictures, names, friends and photos.

Users will also be able to make their friends lists portable, which is something MySpace stressed as important, too. Moreover, like MySpace's Data Availability, users who make an update to their profile information will see those changes in a partner Web site.

Also, like Data Availability, Facebook Connect will be available in the next several weeks.