Mozilla is today launching its Persona login initiative in beta, following a year’s worth a work and a name change from BrowserID. Before we dive in, if the name “Persona” confuses you, it’s because “Personas” was once the name of Firefox’s customizable theming tool, which is now being renamed to something else. Phew.

Now that Mozilla’s Persona is leaving its “experimental” label behind, the beta release is ready for developers to implement for authentication across smartphones, tablets and desktop browsers. For users, Persona works just like Facebook Connect and sign-in with Twitter, where you’d click the login button, approve the connection and then let the system handle everything else.

The benefit is Mozilla’s system is clear in the long run, as the browser has proved it can at least outlast the average social network. Additionally, users wont have to worry about sharing all of their highly sensitive information from Facebook with every third-party site. Beyond that, however, it will be difficult to create a standard when other, more popular options are available, especially if Chrome steals away more of Firefox’s marketshare.

Screen Shot 2012 09 27 at 10.57.20 AM Mozilla launches Persona beta: A Web wide alternative to logging in via Facebook or Twitter

For developers, Persona has come a long way since it was named BrowserID, with an entirely new API and a simple site integration process. Here’s a video that touts The Times’ recent Persona integration:

Anyone can now grab their Persona via the link below. Interested developers can learn how to integrate it into their site here.

➤ Persona