Facebook Links User Accounts with Gmail

    May 19, 2009
    Chris Crum

Yesterday, Facebook went live as an OpenID relying party. This makes Facebook the largest one to date.

"This is the first iteration of the implementation," a Facebook spokesperson tells WebProNews. "To start, new users can now register for Facebook with their Gmail accounts, and existing users can link their Facebook accounts with any OpenID provider to connect with friends and eliminate the need for multiple sign-ins."

Once a user links their account with a Gmail address or an OpenID URL, logs in to that account, then goes to Facebook, that user will already be logged in to Facebook.

Facebook - Google Account

Back in February Facebook joined the OpenID Foundation Board. The company also hosted the OpenID User Experience Summit around that time. At the event, they had product managers, user experience designers, and social web experts from companies like Google, Yahoo, MySpace, Plaxo, and SixApart.

A the summit, they shared lessons learned from developing the Facebook Connect authentication system. "We’re also concerned with account security," says Luke Shepard at the Facebook Developer Blog. "Again, we shared our experience developing Facebook Connect, where we eventually came up with a design that ensures that users would know that they were providing their login credentials to Facebook, and not some unscrupulous site."

Facebook says that according to tests it has run, first-time users who register for Facebook using OpenID are more likely to become active Facebook users. The company says more OpenID providers will be integrated into the registration and account linking process.