OpenID enables any consumer site to quickly implement a membership login mechanism for its users by leveraging the massive account systems of many of the top profile providers. Expanding upon simple registration systems and authentication, OpenID delivers a means by which consumers can extract profile information from users, including their email addresses, general profile details, and linked accounts. This allows users to carry over their profile systems from site to site without having to register a new account each time they log in. For a consumer site, using this login infrastructure can help reduce the pain of registration for its users, which in turn keeps the site’s drop-off rates to a minimum and its social graph robust and thriving.
Security, ease of implementation, and extensibility are always key issues when you’re working with authentication. Through our OpenID discussions, you can see how this open specification aims to address all of these issues with a single implementation.