SmoothSpan Blog

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Twitter Joins the Internet Single Sign On Fray. Sort Of.

Posted by Bob Warfield on December 16, 2008

Your Twitter credentials can now be used to log onto some services if you like.  For example, Google’s Friend Connect will now let you log in using your Twitter sign on.  Twitter joins Google, Yahoo, AIM, and OpenID on the list of ways to log onto Friend Connect.  To take advantage as a Twitter user, you must first have one of the other 4 types, logon with that type, and then associate your Twitter account with that logon.

This is what I mean by Twitter “sort of” joining the SSO fray.  They aren’t exactly a first class citizen, they’re piggybacking on Google (and Facebook as it turns out, and maybe even MySpace, but the latter is unclear).  That’s a smart strategy for them.  They’re not a big enough playerr to promulgate.

For Google’s part, this is also a great idea.  Twitter is a first class form of communication for its devotees, and Google makes it easy for them to go beyond just the logon credentials by doing other Twittery things.  For example, quickly Tweet about something cool you’ve found on the web.

What to make of all this activity?  Are we seeing the usual consolidation that happens after a period of “punctuated equilibrium” innovation?  Perhaps accelerated by the economy?


Web Single Sign On will be key to advertisers.  It means they know who you are wherever you go and can successfully collect information about you over a broader range of your web experience, hopefully to use that information for more targeted advertising.  The Social Advertising Race has begun.  We know that Google invests in things that drive greater Internet usage.  For them, the Internet is their walled garden, and so letting companies like Twitter plug into their SSO mechanism is very beneficial.  It’s a lot less clear for Facebook, which is tending its own Walled Garden what they should do.  For now they seem to be holding on to their place at the table by checking and not raising raising the bet.

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