Not too long after joining forces with FriendFeed, popular social networking site Facebook continues to grab headlines following the announcement of its new partnership with The Huffington Post. Called HuffPost Social News, this new news site utilizes the Facebook Connect product much the same way that the New York Times’ TimesPeople works. The idea here is that HuffPost Social News network members can share Huffington Post news stories that they like, dislike, or otherwise find interesting with their network of Facebook friends who can then, in turn, comment on the story, share it with their network, and so on. At the same time, any HuffPost member who posts a story or comments on one that they read will then see their activity posted not only to their personal Facebook network, but simultaneously to the HuffPost Social News site, thus broadening the ability to share thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc. with a much larger, like-minded audience.
What’s interesting to note, besides the fact that Facebook has agreed to a partnership with such a controversial lightning rod of a news source, is this developing trend of using social networking to market news stories. News media outlets have long been competing for new methods of getting their stories out to the public in the quickest and most engaging ways possible, and it appears as though Facebook Connect presently offers the quickest and most convenient way to helping a news story go viral.
Having both the New York Times and The Huffington Post on the product’s client roster is an excellent display of the overall versatility of Facebook Connect; what with one being predominantly news story-based (NYT) and the other relying more so on reports posted by the site’s bloggers (HP), there really is no limit to what type of Web site can benefit from using this product. Watch for this to quickly become a trend amongst other news media outlets in the near future.