Meebo Prepares Face-Off Against Facebook
Extended Authentication -- or XAuth -- is an open technology platform designed to increase social engagement by making it easier for users to connect to their friends no matter where they are online.
"Enabling users to communicate and share across any Web site, with anyone, in a secure fashion, is simply a natural progression to the Web's social phenomenon," said Seth Sternberg, co-founder and CEO of Meebo.
At launch, partners include Google, Microsoft, MySpace, Yahoo, JanRain, Disqus and Gigya.
The XAuth framework will be made available via open source and will be refined throughout the year, according to Sternberg.
Further collaboration with additional partners, the Open Identity Exchange and the OpenID Foundation, is planned to bring about an open consortium to host the XAuth technology.
The launch of XAuth comes just as Facebook -- conspicuously absent from XAuth's partner list -- is gearing up to debut several new sharing products and technologies. Chief among them is a universal "Like" button that Web publishers will be able to put on their pages, making it easier for publishers to offer more social experiences.
XAuth is designed to help publishers and providers of social applications balance the need to give users a broad set of choices for logging in with a third-party provider and simplify the process. XAuth recognizes when visitors are already logged into a communication and social-networking service of their choice, such as Google, Microsoft, MySpace, and Yahoo.
Users can then more easily share content, links or feeds with "friends," use instant messenger or e-mail, and otherwise participate in the site's community.
It is also expected to give publishers greater insights into users' preferred social services, which in theory will lead to increased engagement, relevancy and participation in the "social ecosystem."