Flickr embraces OpenID

Great news for anyone who supports open standards and quite a brave move for Yahoo (parent company) who have recognised that having a proprietary login process (you need a Yahho ID in order to sign-up for Flickr) may be a disincentive to setting up a Flickr account. OpenID will be one of the standards implemented for the Knowledge Hub ( – the first implementation of OpenID in the public sector?

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Flickr (Flickr) announced today that Google (Google) would be its first partner in its introduction of OpenID for new account signups. Starting today, anyone can sign up for a new Flickr account using their Google account.

Existing Flickr users will still have to use their Yahoo (Yahoo!) identities to login, but Flickr says they’re working on making that easier and less frequent, too.

This is great for Flickr and parent company Yahoo, as it makes it easier for current Google users to use the former photo-sharing site as opposed to Picasa (Picasa), a Google-owned competitor. But it’s not exactly a loss for Google, since it removes a big reason to establish and use a Yahoo account.

Of course, the real winner here is the OpenID community. Eric Sachs is on Google’s Internet Identity Team. He wrote today on the Google Code blog, “Google and Yahoo! are two of the many companies who have been involved with the OpenID community’s efforts to improve the process for how users log in and sign up for online services… While Google doesn’t yet support the use of OpenID for replacing passwords on its own sites, we’re involved in the OpenID community’s efforts to research how to best implement that type of support.”

Interestingly enough, last month Google announced it would be using OpenID to allow Yahoo users to signup for new Google accounts, a clear swipe at Yahoo’s userbase.

According to data gathered this summer, Google is the single largest “identity provider” across the Internet (Internet); Google represents the preferred sign-in option for 38% of users on sites with third-party sign-in options. Not surprisingly, Facebook (Facebook) holds second place, with 24% of users choosing that identity as a login option.


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