February 26, 2009

Blogger Followers now Integrated with Google Friend Connect

When Google Friend Connect was introduced a few months ago, it seemed inevitable that eventually this service would be closely integrated with Blogger to enable more social interaction around our blogs and social communities.

Today the Blogger Buzz blog announced that Friend Connect has been integrated with the Followers feature, enabling readers to log in and become a follower of your blog using their preferred login details (rather than using only their Google account).

As explained in the introductory post:
[...] Your readers come from across the web, from Yahoo, AOL, WordPress, Typepad... not just Blogger. That's why we're excited to announce that we've integrated Blogger Following with Google Friend Connect.

Friend Connect encourages readers to use one account (whether it's a Google account, a Yahoo, AIM or OpenID account) to follow any site - a Blogger blog, a WordPress blog, or any other site that has incorporated Friend Connect.

This integration promises more exposure for our blogs as those from other social networks can follow our posts, be updated of new articles and share their followings with friends from other social sites.
For those who have already set up "Following" on their Blogger blogs, the integration has already been set up for you. Your Followers widget will have already changed to reflect the new Friend Connect features and enable those using other login details to follow your site.

Here is what the Blogger Buster followers widget looks like now:

I did need to alter some of the colors to ensure it matched the overall design of my blog, but otherwise this was integrated with my overall design. If you need to edit some of the font colors for your own Followers widget, simply click the edit icon or go to Layout>Page Elements in your Blogger dashboard and choose the "Edit" link. On the pop-up screen you will be able to change the colors for the different text sections of your widget.

Here also is a video which the Blogger team created to explain "How to follow" a blog:

As hinted in the introductory post for Friend Connect integration, we're likely to see even more new features based on Google's social integration features over the next few months!

Feel free to let us know what you think of Friend Connect and the updated Followers widget by leaving your comments below.

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