Facebook has been in favor of openness for quite a while now, which is evident from their Facebook Connect facility. As a further step in that direction they have now joined the group of OpenId relying parties.
Facebook joined the OpenID Foundation Board last February, and since then they have been learning about how OpenId works, so that they can form a long term relationship with the developer community, which has common goals.
In order to provide their users with a secure and sustainable framework from which to operate, they have already made some moves so that their users can shift to the OpenId format smoothly.
At present Facebook with its 200 million users is the largest site to be a part of the OpenId community and is expected to provide a big boost to OpenId.
Facebook will have to ensure that they provide a simple to use and yet secure system to their customers. As a positive step towards doing so, they hosted the OpenId User Experience Summit to share what they have learnt while developing the Facebook Connect authentication system.
As part of their efforts to protect user security they have set up a design to let users know that they will be providing their details to Facebook and not to some unknown site which could easily misuse the data. The full page redirect login process has been converted to a pop-up in consultation with the OpenId community to streamline the user experience.
Users will be able to use their college and workplace identities on the OpenId format. They will be able to register on Facebook through their Gmail account or other OpenId account which supports automatic login, thus making it quicker and easier to find ones friends. They will also be able to accounts such as MySpace, Yahoo! and Gmail etc. through Facebook. This effort will also allow users who have several accounts and passwords to use their accounts more easily.
It has been found that first time users who register with OpenId are more likely to become active members of Facebook.
For technical details users can go to ‘Developer Wiki’.