Google‘s latest foray into social networking is a toolbar it is introducing today, that shows users’ social information on other web sites. It’s designed to help web site publishers and users make better use of Google Friend Connect, a service that already lets developers add social features to web pages.
The toolbar includes buttons that, when clicked on, reveal drop-down windows showing you your own user identity, the activity taking place on the site (such as a link to a new blog post on a blog), comments, lists of other members on the site, and your own activity on any site that uses Friend Connect. In order to use the toolbar, you’ll need to sign into Friend Connect using your user identity from Google or any other Connect-connected service (I use Twitter, see screenshot).
Through Friend Connect, you can already do things like comment on sites, become friends with other users on sites, and use some simple applications. The toolbar is another small step in Google’s effort to provide social data everywhere.
Developers can place the toolbar on the top or bottom of any web page on a site. Here’s a sample. More in this instructional video:
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