It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about how Facebook is becoming more open. Mashable (and others I am sure) has reported that Facebook is taking this spirit of openness even further and is rolling out support for Gmail and OpenID users to associate their accounts with their Facebook account and login to Facebook using their Gmail or OpenID credentials.
This is a pretty exciting move and it thrusts Google right into the middle of the social Web (yes, it is great for OpenID too but Google has a few more users). Using your Google account you have access not only to Google’s vast array of services (not least of which is its growing social glue, Friend Connect) but you can now login to Facebook using that same account. Now this may just be a way to get through the front door but it can’t be long before we see Facebook once again support Friend Connect and perhaps integrate even further with Google and its OpenID partners. Is it too far fetched to anticipate a unified social Web where a user of one service doesn’t need accounts with any other to access them all? Facebook has been breaking down its wall for some time now and this could be just the step needed to finally take that wall down.
Looking towards the Dark Side for a moment I can see how granting Google access to a community of over 200 million users could introduce a new set of fears about privacy and world domination. While we will probably not see Facebook hand over all its users’ information to Google, this move does make Google almost ubiquitous on the social Web. As a Google user I will be more and more inclined to use my Google account as my universal ID on the Web. I already direct people curious about me to my profile on Google. How long until I don’t need any other credentials to access any other service and Google follows me everywhere I go? I don’t think that will take too long so the question we need to ask ourselves is how we feel about that?