By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 10:54 am
Google has rolled out a major update to Google Friend Connect, its service that lets small Web sites (and some not-so-small ones, such as the Huffington Post) easily add community features such as comments, reviews and ratings, and the ability to friend other visitors.
There are a bunch of new features, all of which you can add to a site by pasting in code that creates gadgets on your pages.
Here’s a video in which Google explains what’s new:
Eleven months ago, I wrote about the first version of Friend Connect, which I found needlessly confusing. I still don’t understand the service’s Members gadget, which presents me with a list of friends that includes easily-identifiable ones, vague ones (I know multiple Dennises), and totally confusing ones (who are you, Mr. Bad, Bad Man?):
Overall, though, today’s Google Friend Connect is neat–it does a lot more than the initial version, and Google has mostly taken care of another complaint I had back then–that the explanations of what the gadgets did tended to be cryptic. The company says that nine million sites now use Google Friend Connect, so it’s clearly caught on…