Say Bye-Bye To
Google Friend Connect
In an ongoing consolidation of services designed to focus more attention on Google+, the team at Google has announced that they are terminating the Google Friend Connect service for non-Blogger based sites.
Google Friend Connect—Friend Connect allows webmasters to add social features to their sites by embedding a few snippets of code. We’re retiring the service for all non-Blogger sites on March 1, 2012. We encourage affected sites to create a Google+ page and place a Google+ badge on their site so they can bring their community of followers to Google+ and use new features like Circles and Hangouts to keep in touch.
This really isn’t too much of a surprise given that Google Friend Connect has been “abandon-ware” the last couple years with little improvements being made on the service.
Google is in the process of cleaning house and it seems every couple weeks we are seeing notification of certain services being discontinued. This is one of the reasons that I stress always having backups of ALL of your data and not relying on Google for key services such as newsletters.
I’ve also recently installed ThinkUp on my hosting server to give me a backup of all of my tweets, facebook statuses and Google+ posts for the very same reason. I’ll talk more about that software later after I’ve had time to work with it.
I would recommend going ahead and taking the Google Friend Connect widget off of your non-Blogger based sites. The code is likely to get even more unstable than usual in the next few months. Go ahead and set up Google+ Authorship (which I covered pretty extensively in the WordPress SEO 101 course) and Google+ Publishership credentials for your site and add a badge widget to connect everything for your readers. Also if you haven’t already transitioned to a high quality newsletter an FTC-compliant optin service, check out Aweber for only $1 for your first 30 days, you’ll love them!
Are you running the Google Friend Connect widget on your blog? Do you feel this is a service you will miss? How do you feel this will impact bloggers in general?
Share your thoughts!
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