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Google to Spread Social Tool Across The Web

Google has picked up the banner of the social Web by launching an initiative to bring features commonly found on social networks to Web sites of all kinds.

Released in a limited preview, Google Friend Connect will enable Web sites to integrate social features such as blogging and feedback forms without having to write the code as well as provide access to applications developed through the OpenSocial initiative.

“Site owners have been saying for a while that they would love to provide this functionality, but, frankly, it’s been too hard to add social features,” Mussie Shore, a product manager at Google, wrote in a company blog post.

Friend Connect will enable visitors to participating sites to view their friends’ activities across other social sites on the Web. Its the latest in a series of announcements from big-name Internet companies aiming to break down the walls that separate Web communities in a movement broadly known as data portability.

Last week, MySpace announced its Data Availability initiative to allow users to share their profiles with sites such as Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) and eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY).

Not to be outdone, Facebook announced Facebook Connect the next day, describing it as an extension of its API. It allows members can bring their identities to third-party sites.

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