We integrated Facebook Connect earlier this week, so now you can sign in and leave a comment on any of our articles using your Facebook username and password. The idea is that Connect will make it easier for you to show off your identity on our site, while letting your friends on Facebook know what you’re up to here.
Once you sign in, you’ll see your Facebook profile picture and your Facebook username appear with any comment you decide to leave. A one-line message about your comment on VentureBeat will also be sent back to Facebook — your friends will see this in their news feeds and in your personal feed on your Facebook profile page. This will hopefully get them to visit us as well. The Connect integration is through Disqus, the blog plugin service we’ve been using since earlier this year.
Connect is in its early stages, but we expect it to become more important for us. The data on Connect adoption is relatively scant as the service only launched publicly less than a month ago. But more than 100,000 people have signed up, according to estimates by the blog AllFacebook. That’s not much considering Facebook’s 140 million monthly active users, but the details are more promising, at least for a site like ours. Video and content sites are leading in Connect usage. For example, the Gawker Media network, including category leaders like media-gossip site Gawker and gadget site Gizmodo, saw a 45 percent uptick in user registrations and a 16 percent increase in number of comments suring the first week after launching Connect.
So far, we’re seeing a nice smattering of readers using Connect. We’ve also seen some commenters complaining about bugs. If you experience a bug, please let us know by emailing me: eric (at) venturebeat (dot) com. At some point, we may integrate Connect’s rival services, Google Friend Connect and MySpaceID. Stay tuned — and happy new year.