File Under: Software & Tools

MySpace HTML Evidence Suggests OpenID Coming Soon

Wanna know how we know MySpace is going to support OpenID soon? Dig into the HTML of your account page and you’ll find a URL that references “https://api.myspace.com/openid”.

One of OpenID’s own evangelists, Chris Messina, was the first to display this detective work. The link is hidden in MySpace profiles and it currently leads to an error page for now. The mere fact it is there and wasn’t the last time code-snoopers checked means some OpenID action is percolating to the MySpace surface. Messina says we should expect it soon.

“I don’t have any insider information, but I’d expect to see this lit up by the end of the month. Right now you can’t use your MySpace OpenID for anything (I tried) but it’s promising to see this development,” Messina wrote on FriendFeed. “All I want to know is when the eff is Facebook gonna flip the switch? Ah, but I’ve stopped holding my breath, just like Digg’s pledged support for OpenID. I mean, if MySpace can pull this off, what’s the hold up?!”

OpenID supporters believe getting MySpace to support OpenID will be a very influential motivation for moving other sites onto the standard. In fact, it will be a game changer.

It’s unclear whether MySpace aims to be an OpenID provider, or supporter, or both. If the site becomes an OpenID host, it means your personal MySpace URL (ex: http://www.myspace.com/yournamehere) becomes your OpenID login, which would mean everyone who has a MySpace account — roughly 120 million users — will instantly have an OpenID login overnight. Enter it in on an OpenID-supporting site and you’re logged in quicker than saying “open sesame.”

However, many are still befuddled by OpenID. It presents a significant change to the way you log in to websites on the internet, and it may prove too jarring to be adopted en masse. In fact, two recent studies (one from Google and one from Yahoo) have shown there’s a huge user experience hurdle to overcome before OpenID catches on.

Were MySpace to push out broad support for OpenID, which this evidence shows it almost certainly will, the sheer size of its audience will be a huge factor towards speeding adoption.

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