Facebook is adding support for OpenID to its Web site, allowing usersaccess to the social media sign-on platform. Facebook is the standard’s largest relaying party — that is, the largest Web site accepting log-ins from OpenID.
The move is beneficial to Facebook because a great many of its users arelikely active on other social media sites, Sterling Market Intelligence Principal Greg Sterling told TechNewsWorld.
Accepting OpenID “is a philosophical position that is consistent with whatFacebook has been trying to achieve,” he remarked.
OpenID is an open standard for user authentication and access control that makes it possible to log onto many services with the same digital identity. Supporters of the standard include Google, IBM, Microsoft, VeriSign, and Yahoo.
Facebook did not return a call to TechNewsWorld in time for this story.
Facebook’s embrace of OpenID is of symbolic importance to social mediaadvocates in that is represents additional momentum toward theindustry’s holy grail: a single sign-on — that is, one ID that provides access to all networks.
It also has practical ramifications for Facebook’s user base.
Facebook’s adoption of OpenID makes it easier for those with manylogins to centralize their social media usage, Joel Comm, author ofTwitter Power, told TechNewsWorld.
However, the integration with Gmail and the ability to friend other Gmail users is more important, he said.
“This is interesting, given Google’s own Friend Connect service,” noted Comm, “and I would expect to see more cooperation amongst leading social sites and portals who do not wish to be left out of the equation.”
Boon for Startups
Facebook Connectis Facebook’s own approach to the single sign-on: It lets users sign on to any partner Web site.
With Facebook joining OpenID, Keene said, “our job has become that mucheasier. Facebook has developed a great product with keen insight intopermissions and transfer of information from one platform to another.this pre-established model will definitely help grow the potential ofOpenID-enabled sites.”
It was never an either/or choice betweenOpenID and Facebook Connect, according to Keene. “When we scoped out the initial plans forSocialAbroad.com, two of our ‘must haves’ were OpenID and FacebookConnect available for sign-in [and] sign-up,” he said. “This makes a lot ofsense for startups because it lowers the barriers to entry and, in ourparticular case, allowed us to efficiently target college students.”