File Under: Identity, Social

Google Profiles Now Function as OpenIDs

So says Google’s Brad Fitzpatrick in a Twitter post Wednesday.

You can now use the URL of your Google Profile to confirm your identity on any website that supports OpenID. When the site asks you for an OpenID identifier, just plug in the URL of your Google Profile and you’ll be directed to Google, where you confirm the request.

OpenID Foundation board member Chris Messina has posted a screenshot of what the user flow looks like when using your Google Profile URL to log in on a website that supports OpenID:

Brad is one of the creators of OpenID and one of the driving forces behind Google Profiles. Google launched its public profile service, which allows anyone with a Google account to create a public profile on the web that shows up in Google’s search results, earlier this year. At first, Profiles were rather spare, but Google has slowly been enhancing the features of Profiles to include vanity URLs and support for microformats.

These profiles are advantageous over proprietary social networking profiles because of their high visibility in Google, the depth they allow, and because they function as a social hub — most people use them to point to their social presences on other sites. Not to mention that Google Profiles appear on the open web rather than inside of Facebook, where, by default, a profile can only be seen by people you’ve connected with on Facebook.

Webfinger, also referenced in Fitzpatrick’s tweet, is a new protocol Google is building into Gmail. It lets you attach any public identity data to your e-mail address. Learn more about it at the Google Code project site.

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