OpenID starting to take hold

OpenID logo

The number of sites where you can log in with OpenID is growing rapidly – this is big news in the identity/single-sign-on world. The standard has been around for a while but its complexity has stopped it really taking off.

Clearly something is changing.

And it is changing ahead of the much vaunted release of OpenID2.0 later this year – a release that is supposed to address many of the usability issues that have dogged the standard to date.

According to Pete Nixey of Clickpass at coming on to 4,500 sites supporting OpenID it is now 20 times more widely accepted than Microsoft Passport was at its peak.

Total Relying Parties (aka places you can login with OpenID)

OpenID graph

You can find the presentation which contained this graph and other related resources on the OpenID website.

All this isn’t just important because it gets us over the hassle of having to remember all of our usernames and passwords – that is important and will be an initial driver of adoption – but the more interesting thing to me is that the OpenID service provider then becomes the natural place to store other information about you.
That could be your friends list – providing an open option for social networks (which I know would please Sam).

Or it could be profile information generally which could be used to auto populate sign up forms and check-out processes or to target ads.

It is this last one which is the biggie for me. If Tacoda achieved enough to be worth $275m then the potential for targeting ads against self maintained profiles is mind-blowingly huge.

  • Just a great point nic. One or two additional comments that might be worth thinking about: (1) does OpenID make data more accurate, and if so, by how much? this would should the true scale of the opportunity, and (2) if we all move to firefox 3 with their new cashing strategy, we will all have an easy option to control the exposure of our own data, and even to trade our own data profile for adsense! Hat tip, John Hagel III, circa 2001

  • Just a great point nic. One or two additional comments that might be worth thinking about: (1) does OpenID make data more accurate, and if so, by how much? this would should the true scale of the opportunity, and (2) if we all move to firefox 3 with their new cashing strategy, we will all have an easy option to control the exposure of our own data, and even to trade our own data profile for adsense! Hat tip, John Hagel III, circa 2001