Facebook Eliminates Connect Brand Due to Market Confusion

One important note for developers, publishers, and marketers from yesterday’s announcements at f8 is that Facebook has officially retired the “Connect” brand. The name and the service officially launched at the last f8 in 2008, and the term was used to collectively describe the company’s off-Facebook.com Platform services.

Why the name retirement? Facebook basically says the term was confusing people into thinking the data and privacy models for Facebook apps were substantially different when implemented on Facebook.com canvas pages versus third party websites.

Another reason for the change was likely that Facebook Connect was so multi-tiered in its implementation options, from the very simple to the complex, that it was too hard to explain as any one product to most publishers and brands.

So, it took the opportunity yesterday, simultaneous with the launch of many relatively easy-to-implement website plugins/widgets, to officially retire the Connect branding. In fact, FBML and FQL are now relegated to the “Advanced APIs” section of Facebook’s new developer site. For example, according to Facebook,

We don’t recommend FBML for new developers. If you aren’t already using FBML, you should instead implement your application within an iframe, using the JavaScript SDK and social plugins for client-side integration with Facebook services.

Now, Facebook just has a bunch of different plugins, APIs, and SDKs . The new developer site pushes visitors to the simplest options as much as possible, including getting started guides for websites, apps on Facebook.com, and mobile apps.

While there’s still a variety of different Platform products out there (see below), Facebook’s Platform product marketing team is hoping the removal of the “Connect” brand will make it easier to communicate the value proposition of the Facebook Platform to potential partners without getting so caught up in explaining the difference between apps on Facebook and the rest of the web, and what exactly “Connect” means.

For reference, here’s the current set of Facebook’s API and SDK products for developers:

Core APIs

Facebook SDKs

Advanced APIs

Facebook Marketing

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6 Responses to “Facebook Eliminates Connect Brand Due to Market Confusion”

  1. Andres says:

    I like how Facebook is introducing new and simple ways how I can integrate their widgets into my site but I’m a bit unclear about the future of FB Connect. I was planning to implement FB Connect onto my site (small community) but now I don’t get it. What’s the difference to the new ‘Login with Facebook’ button.. ?

  2. Joe says:

    Andres, the fundamental difference is that the new way is using OAuth protocol instead of FB’s homemade version. Also, you are referencing a new Javascript url. Ultimately, the newer way is simpler — you should be glad if you don’t have to migrate from the Connect API.

  3. Andres says:

    Thanks Joe! So I should definitely go for the new solution. Any live examples of sites doing so already? I still see Connect Buttons everywhere.

  4. mark says:

    This is great to hear and I’m thrilled with the announcement, except for the fact that I have to figure out what to do with all these FB Connect buttons on our site now.

  5. Andres says:

    Yes, that’s what I need to know too!

  6. Internet retailers miss opportunities by not using Facebook login, Sociable Labs says says:

    [...] either didn’t see the value or couldn’t put the resources toward it. In 2010, Facebook retired the Connect brand and released the Facebook login social plugin, which worked basically the same way as Connect but [...]

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