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Google Friend Connect adds profiles, ads

Web site publishers that use Google Friend Connect to add social-networking features to their sites can now allow users to set up profiles and serve targeted ads based on those profiles.

Web site publishers using Google Friend Connect can now allow users to connect through profiles, and serve them targeted ads based on those profiles. Google

Google Friend Connect is adding a few features that make it easier for Web site publishers to build their own social networks.

Visitors to Web sites that use Google Friend Connect will soon have the option of filling out a profile on that site that can connect them to like-minded individuals who frequent those sites. They can then search for other profiles on that site with matching tags, introduce themselves to those users through the site without having to post an e-mail address, and see content on the site tailored to their interests, said Mussie Shore, product manager for Google Friend Connect.

The whole idea behind the Google Friend Connect tool "is to make it easy for site owners to add social features to their site without having coding capabilities," Shore said. Google offers several services for Web publishers like this one, such as Google Web Elements.

The new features expand on ones unveiled last year. Site owners using the service will also be able to create and target newsletters based on the new profile information, and gather data about their interests as to make decisions about site content.

And, of course, it all comes back to the ads. Google Friend Connect publishers can now serve extremely targeted AdSense ads to individual visitors based on the preferences they declare on their profile page.