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The New York Times Wants You to Log in With Facebook

Ahead of paywall, paper adds another social layer to its website

The New York Times continues to tweak its website ahead of its highly-anticipated metered paywall.

On Tuesday, the Times added a “Log In With Facebook” feature, enabling users to link their Facebook accounts with the Times.

NYTimes.com general manager Denise Warren called the move “the next step in our commitment to the social element of our business — further allowing our readers to share and connect around our content.”

When you’re logged in via Facebook, a section on the Times homepage (and story pages) is turned over to a list of recommendations from your Facebook friends — similar to what the Washington Post already does on its own website.

The Times insists that the “sharing” part won’t change when the paywall rolls out in early 2010.

More from the release:

Log In With Facebook is an opt-in feature. To view personalized content, users must connect their Facebook and NYTimes.com accounts, which will allow them to share articles from NYTimes.com with their Facebook friends on the site and on Facebook. For these users, the NYTimes.com home page and article pages will highlight the most popular Times content within Facebook and the user’s network of friends – including comments and recommendations. NYTimes.com users who choose not to connect their accounts will see an aggregate of the most popular Times content within Facebook.

As PaidContent notes, the Facebook log in “doesn’t replace NYTimes.com registration; it links the two” leaving the paper with “total control over its registered user info plus giving it access to some from the social network.”