OpenID is an open source service that allows its users to tie their accounts at various participating Web services into a single account that works at any OpenID-participating Web service.
As expected, Facebook is now one of those Web services. One implication is that users can sign in with their Gmail or Flickr accounts.
The social media wonks are going nuts about it. On Twitter, iCrossing social media strategist Alisa Leonard-Hansen announced the news: “HOLY FREAK Facebook + OpenID!” ReadWriteWeb headlined their story on it: “The Dam Just Broke: Facebook Opens Up to OpenID.“
We think the news is neat — hey, handy feature! — but such a level of enthusiasm eludes us.
Sure, Facebook just made it easier for its 200 million users to join many other smaller Web services, but we’ve never been in the crowd that thought users would let a little user-reg hassle keep them from joining a site they really want to use. Sometimes OpenID can be more of a hassle than a convenience.
If there’s another explanation for the dancing in the street, we’d like to hear it. Educate us in the comments?