Why “Social Authentication” Will Triumph Over OpenID

Since the dawn of the Internet, the universal cry of pain has been “why can’t I log in to all sites with one password?.”  The goal of universal identify is one that makes so much sense,
but that has been difficult to achieve because it requires the cooperation of so many.

Both corporations and nonprofits have tried to have a go at this holy grail. From Microsoft’s Passport to the recent OpenID initiative. These approaches have seen moderate adoption so far, and when I consider why, what I get is – not enough value. When you want to sign up for a site, these authentication services simply save you the need to fill one field — the password.

Social Login, on the other hand, is a real revolution. A typical registration form has 4-5 fields with maybe another 4-5 optional fields. Social Authentication, or Social Login, namely the ability to use your social network account universally, will typically save you from filling in all of these fields – this is what I call a value proposition.

But wait! There’s more! With this one click approval, the site owner gets access to tens of other, highly updated, data points about the user. You get an API with access to the user’s media resources and the social graph of the user. And last but not least, the site publisher has 2 ways of communicating with the user and that user’s friends’ – a messages/notifications API and an API for sending actions to the newsfeed.

Early adopters of social authentication report a 50% increase in registrations – that’s many more users, each providing much more information.

OpenId doesn’t stand a chance.Long live Social Authentication! Now we just need a better name for it. Ideas anyone?

P.S. try this neat mouse movement password recorder and log in example.

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