When back in November, I blogged about the Lisbon Treaty possibly instigating a paradigm shift in public consultation, I was wondering if the European Commission would ever be forced (as in: would not have any other option!) to consider Facebook. I could see how difficult it would be if there was no means of authenticating Facebook users as being EU citizens, or if one could not prevent one citizen creating a hundred profiles!
Nothing has changed to bring a Facebook-login closer to personal authentication. But, just days ago Facebook and AOL agreed that Facebook users could now chat with their friends right through AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). This is an achievement from Facebook’s perspective under many counts. Not least, is the one that was pointed out by Mike Melanson in his post on ReadWriteWeb:
“The partnership reinforces the idea that our Facebook profile is at the center of our online existence. Whether or not someone is signed into AOL is no longer what’s at stake here, it’s whether or not the user is logged into Facebook.”
In January, Mike had revealed how statistics released by widget-maker Gigya showed that 65% of its traffic came from Facebook.
A look at data published by Experian shows that, for the week ending 20th February, 6.98% of visits were to Google and that this was followed closely by 6.77% of visits going to Facebook. This of course excludes the number of people that have Google as their homepage and the ones that go to Google to type “facebook” and click on the first link! The Experian data dashboard also shows that over 49% of social network hits were to Facebook. Google must have been aware of this when, on the same day as the Facebook/AOL deal they launched Buzz. I remain unimpressed by this last addition to Google’s portfolio and so I am not going to waste your time by linking to it. :)
Fact 1: Facebook Connect is free and easy to implement, allows any website to link to 350 million facebookers and is steadily being implemented by all those who would like to stay alive.
Fact 2: Facebook Connect is part of the Open ID project. Simply put, OpenID allows you to use an existing login account from any participating partner to sign in to multiple websites [read more]
If Facebook Connect is becoming so important, when will it go the next level and start offering to authenticate the identity of its users? How would this affect open government initiatives?
Following the launch of the OpenGov initiative in the US, ten industry leaders (including Google) had come forward to take part in a pilot that would allow the American public to participate in Government through Web 2.0. Why is Facebook not one of them?