Facebook or OpenID? Or Both?

Lately social networks and identity are discussed more intensely in the blogosphere with high profile bloggers like Robert Scoble and Jeremiah Owyang spearheading the discussion. Especially the latter has caught my attention as he is focusing on Facebook as the platform to manage most of people’s social networking and identity needs. He writes:

-Facebook will launch an Identity widget that I can embed on my blog. This allows only those who have registered to Facebook to leave a comment, many high profile blogs will do this, to avoid nasty anonymous comments, thus reducing the incident of Kathy Sierra type events. Dave Winer is right.

-The data collected from these widgets ables Facebook to erode the small marketshare that Attention trackers and MyBlogLog are creating.

-Facebook will have faster adoption that Open ID, as the consumer users will drive it. (Remember the mantra of consider joining before creating communities)

All those points made probably sound familiar to those who have read Simon Willison’s excellent article Six cool things you can build with OpenID back in February: social whitelists, pre-approved accounts, and also decentralised social networks.

Funnily the proposed identity widget could have been there already, even with OpenID support; think of MyBlogLog and Ex.plode.us. The former is thinking about implementation while the latter already supports it. It’s just that both companies either haven’t thought about developing their products in that direction or haven’t rolled out that feature yet.

Jeremiah thinks Facebook will have a faster adoption rate than OpenID. Well, it is certainly more user centric being a social network and even a platform but will adoption really be faster? How many old school users know about the new possibilities of Facebook’s platform now? Users have to be educated about them. So the same applied for an identity widget, I think. Also I am sure Facebook developers had to introduce some kind of authentication system which goes beyond a simple login at the service. Why not introducing OpenID then? It made sense.

10 thoughts on “Facebook or OpenID? Or Both?”

  1. I’m sure Open ID is being discussed for the whole Facebook network.

    Did you see the news today? LinkedIn is going to open up an API too. This is a trend.

  2. Yes, I have read about the LinkedIn news. 🙂
    Also OpenID for the whole Facebook network really made sense. No need to log in to any of the other application when logged in to Facebook with an OpenID. Would be awesome.

  3. I would vote OpenID auth on Facebook, instead of one or the other, [..] he momentum of OpenID and fact that Facebook is working with Open Source companies like Six Apart certainly makes it plausible we could see Facebook support OpenID in the future. […]

  4. Yes, I’m pretty sure they’re already discussing OpenID (could have sworn I saw it in a major blog). Didn’t know that about LinkedIn though, thanks

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