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Not an hour after Google announced the general availability of Friend Connect, Facebook is doing the same for its competing Facebook Connect service. Now any third party website that wants to pull personal data about visitors from Facebook - and send back activity reports to their news feeds - can do so by first filling out a self-service application.

The general availability of Facebook Connect comes only a few days later than our anticipated launch date of November 30th. The service was originally announced last May, just one day after MySpace announced its data portability initiative called Data Availability and just a few days before Google announced Friend Connect.

The three horse race between Facebook, Google, and MySpace to achieve dominance in the internet identity space doesn’t appear to be letting up any. It isn’t a mere coincidence that both Facebook and Google have announced their public launches on the same day; both are struggling to establish themselves as the de facto standard for both developers and end users. MySpace managed to beat out both Facebook and Google months ago when it publicly launched its service.

While Facebook Connect is now available to all developers, we have yet to see live implementations from many of Facebook’s supposed launch partners, a few of which were highlighted during this summer’s F8 conference.

Update: Here is Mark Zuckerberg’s post on the news.

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Source: Google, MySpace and Facebook Make Internet Identity a Three-Horse Race