Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Facebook & OpenId

So, one can login to facebook using an OpenID http://developers.facebook.com/news.php?blog=1&story=246 which at the surface level feels like a great step in the right direction. I feel that it's actually a step that furthers Facebook's Goal of wanting _everyone_ to have a facebook account. Now, I don't fault them for having this goal, but unless they do a bunch more things to open up their walled garden I don't want this to happen.

One large step that facebook could do towards opening up their systems is to allow their users to use http://www.facebook.com/lakin.wecker as an OpenID login for other sites. I really doubt Facebook will ever do this themselves as having this feature would be in direct competition with Facebook Connect. Althought, to be honest, I never understood why Facebook Connect _wasn't_ just an OpenID implementation?

As a developer - if you could support a single authentication system, Say google's Friend connect that includes OpenID, Twitter, Gmail - and it also includes all Facebook users - that would be an obvious choice. It would make Facebook Connect mostly obsolete except for those people who want to support _only_ facebook users.

My best guess is that Facebook is trying to do the opposite - that is, they want to convince developers to _only_ use facebook connect, and convince users to sign up for a facebook account via openid in order to use these facebook only services.

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