Google launched Friend Connect back in early 2008 as a means for website owners to turn their sites into homegrown mini social networks. The service allowed users to login and connect with the other people browsing the site through various widgets.
Fast forward to today, and Google has expanded Friend Connect to include an “Interests” section. Its primary purpose is to capture pertinent information about the users browsing a site using customizable questions.
Logged in users can answer questions posed by the website owner and “connect” to others by seeing their answers (i.e. music website asks what your favorite bands are). Web site owners can also send newsletters infused with content it collects in the site’s “Interests” section.
Further, the update allows website owners to collect information from its user base so it can serve up ads tailored to their interests using the “AdSense” widget—making this a huge selling point for owners to adopt the system on their sites.
Do you use Friend Connect? Would you use it knowing site owners are collecting information to serve you ads?