Facebook releases commenting widget

Facebook has extended Facebook Connect to make it easier for site owners to use the feature. Connect, as I've written previously, is a powerful way for publishers to tap in to the Facebook community. When users leave comments on a site using Connect, those comments can also show on the users' Facebook profile pages, which acts as a form of free site marketing to the Facebook audience. The company on Thursday released a new widget that enables Facebook comments to be added to any Web page. More from the Facebook developers' blog. See also the video demo, embedded here.

Facebook Connect is not quite as easy to implement as the "just one line of code" pitch I got in the e-mail about this feature, but it does not look like it will take much effort for a developer: It looks like a simple addition to a site template, registration on Facebook's developer site, and a short file transfer will do the trick.

Not discussed in the materials for the new feature are the privacy implications, but it stands to reason that if you use Facebook Connect to gather comments on your site, then Facebook's terms of service dictate what can later be done with those comments and the social network data about your site's visitors generated by them.

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