Michael Arrington at TechCrunch is reporting that Twitter is nearing the announcement of a new set of tools that will allow third-party Websites (like this one) to better integrate with the micro-blogging service. The tools appear to be Twitter’s own “Facebook Connect” system that has been widely popular for Facebook with Websites and publishers for the ease of use it applies Web managers and users.
Users can simply log into these Websites with their Facebook log-in to comment and converse with other Facebook users. They can also chat with other Facebook friends live on Websites, implement widgets and share what they’re looking at on Facebook Connect sites on their own Facebook pages and streams.
Arrington reports that “Facebook says 80,000 websites have added Facebook Connect, and 60 million Facebook users engage with Facebook connect on these third party websites each month.”
Last April, Twitter did announce basic tools that allow you to log-in and comment on third-party sites, but the new tools appear to take it further with integration, including: data pulling, authenticating users and easy to use widgets (could imagine Twitter list widgets, follower widgets, etc).
Gus Sentementes over at the BaltTech blog ruminates that he’d be much more likely to log-in with his Twitter information on third-party sites versus a Facebook Connect site because it has far less personal information associated with it. I wonder if that will be the case more broadly? However, Facebook connect would still appear to be more valuable to me given the engagement users have with the site and its scale.
The beauty of Facebook Connect is that it allows and encourages users on Facebook to spend some time on third-party sites because it’s so easy to log-in and still connect with their Facebook friends. Twitter users are already more apt to spend time away from Twitter pages (using Seesmic Desktop, TweetDeck, etc). There’s no doubt that Twitter Connect will be huge in the Twittersphere, but will it have the same reach and authenticity for Web publishers and brands as Facebook Connect?