Facebook Matches MySpace’s Data Portability Program

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by Mark Walsh, Monday, May 12, 2008 7:00 AM ET

 

Close on the heels of MySpace allowing users to share their public profile information, rival Facebook plans to follow suit with its own data portability program.  

 

Facebook Connect, a new service, will let members of the social networking site link their identities including basic profile information, photos, friends, groups and events, as well as privacy settings, to any site. Connecting a Facebook account to another site will also involve an authentication process.

The announcement was made on the Facebook developers blog Friday by Dave Morin, a senior platform manager at the company.

“We believe the next evolution of data portability is about much more than data,” he wrote. “It’s about giving users the ability to take their identity and friends with them around the Web, while being able to trust that their information is always up to date and always protected by their privacy settings.”

The new data-sharing option is expected to be unveiled publicly in the next few weeks.

A year ago, Facebook opened up its network to third-party developers to create social applications for the site. Since then, more than 350,000 developers and entrepreneurs have responded to the invitation.

Facebook was absent from the list of participating sites that MySpace will let users share information with through the data portability initiative it announced last week. But MySpace co-founder and chief executive Chris DeWolfe said Facebook was welcome to join.

Among similar efforts, Microsoft in March announced plans to let users of its Windows Live platform share their contact lists with five of the top social networks: Facebook, Bebo, LinkedIn, Tagged and Hi5. Yahoo maintains a separate data portability arrangement with LinkedIn.

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