OpenID: Signs Point to Momentum

Its been an amazing couple of weeks for the OpenID community. Microsoft and AOL have announced support of OpenID. AOL’s 63 million users and Six Apart’s 16 million users are all OpenID enabled. More sites are coming on-line that support OpenID: Jyte, Zooomr and Ma.gnolia all allow you to login with it.

We at JanRain have been working hard to deliver new services like Jyte as well as continue to develop the MyOpenID site into the premier OpenID provider with new anti-phishing and convenience features just added. More features are on the way!

The 52,000+ MyOpenID users have logged into over 1200 unique sites that support OpenID (see the graph). A lot of these users are coming via our affiliate program and site API that each allow web sites to integrate OpenID creation into their sign-up process. We’ve found that a lot of sites just want to use OpenID, not manage identities. These programs are perfect for you if you just want to focus on your “main thing”. The partnership with GNR on their FreeYourID service uses this new site API.

Avery Glasser has just published a report that details the usage patterns that Ma.gnolia (social bookmarking site) has seen from users that are using OpenID on their site. Ma.gnolia adopted OpenID in mid-December along with supporting their existing login system. The gist is that its all good news. OpenID users are more engaged and much stickier to the site and this is real data speaking to what we’ve been saying for months.

How can you get involved? Easy. Get an OpenID for starters. Try logging into one of the many sites that support and see for yourself just how great the web can be with one username and password. OpenID enable your project or site … head over to OpenIDEnabled.com and find the libraries, tools and test suites you need to do so. Finally, (last but not least), join the OpenID community. Head over to openid.net and join the mailing lists, participate in the wiki and help continue OpenID’s amazing success.

What’s coming next? The applications. We see new sites coming on-line all the time (about 10 – 15 new OpenID enabled sites everyday) and they are really amazing. OpenID is more than just getting closer to the one username, one password solution … this is much bigger than that. OpenID is going to bring in a new age of connectedness and interoperability that we just haven’t been able to conceive of before. Social networking, communications, reputation and trust will all be significantly impacted by OpenID in the coming years and the best applications are yet to come.

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~Scott Kveton