If it’s not clear to everyone, the future of the Social Web will be be characterized by signing up and signing into services with credentials from the identity provider of your choice. Which company wins in this Online Identity War will reshape the Internet. Today, Yahoo significantly upgraded its weaponry, with a rockin’, consumer-friendly implementation of the OpenID-OAuth hybrid protocol, complete with Facebook Connect-like pop-up, together with launch partners Plaxo (see blogpost) and JanRain.
This “hybrid” approach first saw the light-of-day in a rollout between Google and Plaxo, which famously produced the “92% success result” that jolted the industry. Since this is all pure Open Stack, not proprietary code, it could quickly be replicated (and improved upon). Since then, Facebook implemented it with Google, when they became an OpenID Relying Party. And MySpace also became a hybrid provider.
It will be interesting to watch how this war shapes up between Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, MySpace, JanRain, and others, and how that effects the evolution of the technologies beneath the hood, like OpenID, OAuth, Portable Contacts, and Facebook Connect. Either way, the competition should be great for consumers and the industry.