[OpenID] About Facebook, MySpace and OpenID

santrajan santrajan at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 16:25:34 UTC 2009

First of all this is not really the subject matter of the article.

And secondly sending the user out to another web site to get verified,
though it does not look like an extra step to you, it surely is a point of
concern to any potential openid adopter, which should be weighed against the
potential benefits he will get.

Andrew Arnott wrote:
> Santrajan,
> I really don't understand this obsession you have about how OpenID is a
> useless "extra step" without an email address being part of it. Any
> shopping
> mall web site that requires a login will need to take a username+password,
> plus email verification, or an OpenID, plus email verification.  There's
> no
> extra step -- it's an exchange of one step for a different step.  And yes,
> it absolutely makes sense to do this because customers won't have to
> create
> yet another username and password.
> I really don't care too much about jumping to my email client for an email
> verification step. I don't mind that.  What I really mind is remembering
> another username and password because that lasts a long time.
> I'm not disagreeing that skipping email verification would be convenient,
> but geez, man, how long can you beat this dead horse?
> --
> Andrew Arnott
> "I [may] not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death
> your right to say it." - Voltaire
> On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 8:43 AM, santrajan <santrajan at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I am posting the full text of my blog post with the same subject here.
>> http://santrajan.blogspot.com/2009/04/about-facebook-myspace-and-openid.html
>> MySpace recently announced there support for OpenID. The idea here is
>> that
>> MySpace users will be able to log in to third party sites with their
>> MySpace
>> Id's. MySpace users needn't get too exited about it too soon.
>> Consider this. A MySpace user would like to log in to her favorite
>> shopping
>> site with her MySpace Account. The shopping site is unlikely to support
>> MySpace Logins. The simple reason being that shopping sites need the
>> email
>> addresses of their authenticated users for various reasons (communicating
>> orders, delivery, new stock etc etc). It doesnt make sence to the
>> shopping
>> site to authenticate using MySpace (An extra step) and then run the user
>> through another email verification process. This will also be true for
>> many
>> other web sites that require their users to login.
>> However  MySpace could have made the users email available to the
>> shopping
>> site (Ofcource with the users consent only) via a provision in the OpenID
>> specifications called SREG. So then why didnt MySpace choose to support
>> SREG?
>> This is not a problem for MySpace alone. When Facebook decides to support
>> OpenID it will be faced with the same dilemma. It is really a frightening
>> thought for social networking sites to hand over their users email
>> address
>> to a third party. For social networking sites keeping the users bound
>> their
>> network is of primary importance.
>> However an equally frightening possibility for social networking sites is
>> to
>> see their users start using Google accounts and Yahoo accounts to log in
>> into third party sites! They could start loosing users in that case too.
>> The jury is out on what these guys should do.
>> But I am clear on what MySpace should have done. Facebook being the no 1
>> social networking site can wait this one out a bit more. However MySpace
>> should really have capitalized on this opportunity. Supported SREG and
>> tried
>> to rope in third party sites to support MySpace logins, and tried to
>> build
>> a
>> small advantage over Facebook on this account.
>> --
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