Image representing Facebook Connect as depicte...
Image via CrunchBase

Huffington Post, the forward thinking media company, released what they called “social news”, and what we will call “Facebook connect integration in a website”. Users can now log in to the site with their Facebook credentials, post their comments on HP article on their wall, and subscribe to their favorite bloggers.

This move is brilliant, as it harnesses reader’s social graph for Huffington Post’s benefit – and increases engagement and exposure to its content. I’ve registered yesterday to the service, wrote a comment on an article, and received responses on this article on my Facebook profile – from people that never read or even heard about Huffington Post.

Gigya, one of my favorite startups, is making this process even easier, with their socialize platform, which provides a unified API to various social networks.

I am still amazed to see that only small number of media companies are harnessing Facebook Connect and Twitter API as a mean to increase exposure and virality of their content. I hope that Huffington Post will publish a study that will show if their latest move increased exposure.

Social distribution, the harnessing of social graphs for media distribution, is the most important opportunity for media companies in the near future. Is your media company ready for the challenge?