Yahoo today announced that it is supporting the OpenID 2.0 digital identity framework for all of its 248 million active registered Yahoo global users; in a move which marks one of the first steps in the opening of Yahoo and its Web 2.0 properties.
Yahoo’s inclusion of OpenID will open in public beta on January 30, and will allow users to use their custom OpenID identifier on me.yahoo.com or to simply type in “www.yahoo.com” or “www.flickr.com” on any site that supports OpenID 2.0.
On the flip side and in what is a very strong branding win for Yahoo in its partnership with OpenID, non-Yahoo web sites that accept OpenID 2.0 will be able to add a simple “Sign-in with Your Yahoo! ID” button to their login pages. Plaxo and JanRain are OpenID members which will let users login via their Yahoo ID from the first day of the public beta. This is huge for Yahoo, meaning that as the sites which support the Yahoo’d OpenID expand, more and more users will be logging into third party sites. So, in essence, OpenID will become somewhat associated with Yahoo ID.
From an advertising perspective, if someone logs into Plaxo or another partner using their Yahoo ID as their OpenID, then Yahoo and their partner should be able to work together to serve extremely targeted advertising to that user, based upon their Yahoo profile and web surfing interests. This is my own speculation, but the financial draw of allowing such a partnership, on top of the ease of using OpenID, could be a major boom for Yahoo.
More from the Yahoo Press Release :
OpenID, an open framework based on proven Internet technologies, enables users to consolidate their Internet identity, eliminating the need to create separate IDs and logins at all of the various websites, blogs, and profile pages they may visit in the course of their online session. In addition to the many leading Yahoo! services users already enjoy, anyone with a Yahoo! ID will be able to use the same ID for easy access to any sites that support OpenID 2.0.
“Yahoo!’s commitment to an open web is a significant validation of the OpenID movement and Yahoo!’s adoption of the standard today immediately triples the total number of people able to use OpenID,” said Scott Kveton, chairman of the Board of Directors for the OpenID Foundation. “With Yahoo! actively engaged with the OpenID Foundation and its community to promote OpenID, Yahoo!’s users will be able to more easily access the many sites across the web that support the standard, and the potential for access to Yahoo!’s vast international user base will create an even more powerful incentive for additional websites to begin accepting OpenID users.”
Yahoo!’s implementation is based on the OpenID 2.0 specification, which Yahoo! worked closely with the OpenID foundation and community to finalize in December 2007, and includes new features that improve security and usability of OpenID, making it the most user-friendly single sign-on and online user-authentication standard. Yahoo! users who log in with their Yahoo! ID on OpenID sites will have the added protection of Yahoo!’s sign-in seal wherever they go on the web. In addition, no email or IM addresses are revealed or disclosed as part of the login process, which further helps protect users from phishing or other attacks.
Yahoo! will continue to devote resources to helping to improve the OpenID user experience and to educating its users. In addition, Yahoo! intends to expand its support of OpenID by adopting other elements of the program as the service evolves. More information and updates can be found at http://openid.yahoo.com.
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