So Much for OpenID–Google Friend Connect Gets Twitter, Facebook Connect Gets Yahoo
Ever use Google Friend Connect? No? Every heard of it? No? Well, you may soon.
If you use Twitter.
This morning, Google (GOOG) said it is integrating the microblogging service with Friend Connect, a federated identity platform that allows credentials from social networks to be used on nonsocial sites. So beginning today, you’ll be able log in to any site that supports Google Friend Connect with your Twitter identity, and once you’ve done so, share content from those sites via Twitter (see video below).
An interesting move–more so for timing, than strategy. News of the alliance comes not 24 hours after Yahoo (YHOO) announced the integration of Facebook’s competing identity platform, Facebook Connect, across key properties Mail, News and Finance. Seems Google has no intention of allowing Friend Connect to become for the social Web what Yahoo is to search. Although as Om Malik notes, Google may not have much say in the matter.
“If more and more sites use Facebook Connect, that is use Facebook ID, the closer company gets to becoming the ultimate identity broker of the Web, which in terms helps them achieve their ultimate goal–organize world’s relationships,” Malik writes.
“Since the Yahoo deal will yield more relevant user behavior data,” Malik continues, “Facebook can continue to get better at surfacing information using the social graph. The more Facebook does that, the less important it is for people to continue searching. If the Facebook brain brings you the stuff you’re likely to want (thanks to inputs from your friends), the more Facebook will keep you inside its system. Google is nowhere close to delivering that experience.”
One last point: The announcement of the Google-Twitter and Yahoo-Facebook alliances does not bode well for OpenID, a nonproprietary identity standard that has a lot of industry buy-in but hasn’t yet bee able to move into the mainstream on the Web.