Facebook, Huffington Post Launch Social News Service

Huffington Post Social/facebook

The Huffington Post and Facebook have teamed up to create HuffPost Social News, a service that lets HuffPost users easily connect with friends on Facebook around the news and opinion site.

Powered by Facebook Connect, HuffPost Social News allows users to share news stories and post comments in what HuffPost co-founder and editor in chief Arianna Huffington called its version of a "digital water cooler" in the announcement.

The new service -- still in beta -- also lets users set up a personalized profile page on HuffPost to see friends' comments, what stories they're reading, or how they voted in online polls, among other site activities. Everything someone reads on HuffPost is tracked and sent back to Facebook by default, but users have the option to turn off this auto-post function.

HuffPost also believes the collaboration with Facebook will create a specialized target audience for advertisers. "Our goal is to make HuffPost Social News the go-to place for Facebook users to share news -- both the stories they love and the stories they hate -- with friends," said company CEO Eric Hippeau, in a statment. "It should also appeal to marketers interested in reaching passionate, savvy readers who care about the news and who want to share their interests with friends."

So far, it appears that just over 1,000 people have signed on to Social News. Other media entities that have partnered with Facebook via Facebook Connect include CNN, NBC, CitySearch and Digg. NBC last week said it was extending Facebook Connect, which lets people use their Facebook ID to log into third-party sites, across multiple properties including USANetwork.com, AccessHollywood.com, iVillage.com and Syfy.com.

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