Facebook Connect – What about OpenID?

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Facebook has launched Facebook Connect (first announced in May 2008) that allows its members to log onto other Web sites using their Facebook identification and see their friends’ activities on those sites.

FB has announced that in the next few weeks, few prominent sites (Digg/SFChronicle etc) will start rolling out it’s Connect service on their website.

So essentially, you can leave a comment on Digg using your FB id/password and the same will show up on your FB news feed.

What about OpenID/DataPortability?

FB Connect achieves the same functionality as OpenID  – just that it is built on proprietary code (which is not open at all) – a clear threat to OpenID.

Essentially, Facebook is trying to replace all logins with their own, and control the creation, distribution and application of the social graph using their proprietary platform.

The most scary part of this, is that while Facebook is quietly and methodically building out this vision with massive partners, the standards community is busy squabbling about naming the open alternative. – Chris Saad (co-founder of the Data Portability project).

FB’s policy on Connect:

When Facebook Connect is used to allow a user to “sign in” or authenticate with your website, the Facebook Connect option must be presented at least as prominently as the most prominent of any other sign in or authentication method on your site, and not as a secondary option. – Dev wiki

So, the social network overlord wants to own your users and in the process, build a better social graph for it’s own purpose.
Only time will tell whether OpenID gets past the internal struggle and catches up with Facebook.

If you are a socionet owner, will you participate in FB Connect?

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