MySpace has just released a major upgrade for MySpaceID, its product that allows users to sign in to third party sites with their MySpace credentials to import their social graphs and profile information into these third party services. The update addresses many of the features MySpaceID has lacked since it first launched last June, including the ability to syndicate activity feed items from MySpace to third party sites (the ability to send activity items in the opposite direction is coming soon). The new upgrade also incorporates a combination of the OAuth and OpenID authentication systems, allowing users to sign in to external sites using their MySpace credentials.
MySpaceID is comparable to Facebook Connect, allowing users to tap into the data stored on the social network for use on external sites. Its biggest selling point over Facebook is that it is built on the open stack, incorporating OpenSocial, OpenID, and OAuth (in contrast, Facebook Connect is a proprietary system, which makes some developers uneasy).
The upgrades are sure to be a welcome addition to the product, but I can’t help but wonder if MySpace has already missed the boat on this one. Despite announcing its Facebook Connect product a day after MySpace first announced MySpaceID (which was formerly called Data Availability), Facebook still beat MySpace to the punch by months, rolling out Connect in early December. Reception has generally been very positive, with Facebook Connect now supported by a number of popular iPhone applications and thousands of websites. From a more anecdotal perspective, there has been much talk at SXSW about the possibility of Facebook becoming the de facto login standard around the web (a thought that some people are opposed to if the social network doesn’t make good on its promise to become more open). Number of times I’ve heard talk of MySpace becoming the dominant force on the web? Not once.
But all is not lost for MySpace by any means. Yahoo is currently bucket-testing its new homepage, which includes MySpaceID functionality as a featured item in its sidebar (you can see a screenshot below). We haven’t heard when the new page will roll out to everyone, but given that Yahoo’s homepage sees 82 million users a day, it’s sure to provide a big boost to takeup of MySpaceID. MySpace may also be able to make up ground if it can work its media offerings like MySpace Music, which Facebook has been unable to compete with, into MySpaceID.