Facebook is simplifying how outside companies can integrate its Connect service today, in an effort to boost the company’s impact far beyond the borders of its social networking site.
It’s launching a Facebook Connect Wizard that compresses the process into three steps. Facebook Connect is a crucial prong of the company’s strategy to spread a social layer across the web. It lets users sign-up and interact with outside Web sites with their Facebook ID and share their activities within the social network.
Connect’s promise is that it creates a feedback loop that drives more traffic to partner sites and tightens a user’s relationship with Facebook. Facebook has brought in 15,000 partner sites since it launched Connect last year.
For example, Huffington Post’s integration with Connect lets visitors see what their friends are reading on the site and share links back to their friends within Facebook. And a Hulu project with Facebook Connect allows users to post shows to their profiles and comment on them in real-time with friends.
So how much does this virtuous Facebook Connect cycle return? The company revealed a few statistics: A basic Facebook fan box, which is a widget showing Facebook fans that a web site owner can put on their page, attracts a 5 to 10 percent clickthrough rate among fans. A share button will push 2 to 4 percent of users to share an item.