MyOpenID, a service created by user management platform Janrain as a free OpenID Identity registrar/server, has announced it is shutting down. The service will completely shut its doors on February 1st 2014.
MyOpenID was one of many services that attempted to make it simple to have one login across multiple sites and services. To confuse matters, the login itself was in fact a URL. You could then use the login anywhere, well, almost anywhere; any site that supports OpenID. There a very few of those sites left.
In an email to its users, Janrain CEO Larry Drebes explains the decision:
In 2006 Janrain created myOpenID to fulfill our vision to make registration and login easier on the web for people. Since that time, social networks and email providers such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yahoo! have embraced open identity standards. And now, billions of people who have created accounts with these services can use their identities to easily register and login to sites across the web in the way myOpenID was intended.By 2009 it had become obvious that the vast majority of consumers would prefer to utilize an existing identity from a recognized provider rather than create their own myOpenID account. As a result, our business focus changed to address this desire, and we introduced social login technology. While the technology is slightly different from where we were in 2006, I’m confident that we are still delivering on our initial promise – that people should take control of their online identity and are empowered to carry those identities with them as they navigate the web.
For those of you who still actively use myOpenID, I can understand your disappointment to hear this news and apologize if this causes you any inconvenience. To reduce this inconvenience, we are delaying the end of life of the service until February 1, 2014 to give you time to begin using other identities on those sites where you use myOpenID today.
Speaking on behalf of Janrain, I truly appreciate your past support of myOpenID.
I remember going to the effort of setting up my own open ID server back in 2009, it wasn’t straight forward. But there are plenty of possible reasons for its failure. Perhaps it was the inability of users to get their head round the idea of using a URL as an identity. Or perhaps it was the complexity of setting it up; OR perhaps it was the lack of support from the big players in the industry, looking at you: Facebook, Google, Twitter.
Irrespective, it’s the end of an era and ultimately, at least for now, Facebook is winning the identity wars.
— Casey Johnston (@caseyjohnston) September 4, 2013
Image Credit / ShutterStock