13. Facebook Connect

Facebook Connect was launched in December 2008. At the time, Facebook was a walled garden—all content stayed within the site. MySpace, Google, and other networks were lining up to use the OpenSocial platform to allow applications to be built once and run on multiple platforms. Facebook then launched Beacon to allow external sites that users visited to post Facebook status updates on the users’ behalf. Unfortunately, Beacon had public-relations issues. The default setting for publishing updates was on, and users did not like having everyone know what they were doing without their permission.

Facebook Connect went in a different direction. Users explicitly use Connect to log in to external sites using their Facebook credentials. ...

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