Facebook Launches OpenID Support for Web.de and GMX in Germany

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openidlogofblogosmallFacebook has just launched support for OpenID authentication with German email providers Web.de and GMX, Frankfurter Allgemeine reports.

Now, once users link their Facebook account to a Web.de or GMX email address, they’ll be automatically logged in when they go to Facebook after having logged into that service. Facebook said earlier this year that in user testing, users who register through OpenID actually get engaged with Facebook more quickly than others.

It’s Facebook’s first step toward supporting OpenID with European email providers. Earlier this year, Facebook joined the OpenID board of directors as a corporate sustaining member, and one month later launched OpenID login support with Gmail. Just yesterday, OpenID advocate David Recordon announced he would be joining the company next week to head up Facebook’s open standards initiatives.

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Facebook’s audience has been growing steadily this year. The above image from Frankfurter Allgemeine shows Facebook’s growth in reach [top graph translation: “Reach (in Millions of Users)”], but apparent decreases in time spent [bottom graph translation: “Time Spent (in Hours per Week)”]. Facebook’s advertiser numbers report 71% audience growth in the last quarter, to over 3.6 million monthly active users in Germany.

“We are really happy to partner with the best internet company in Germany”, said Javier Olivan, who works in international business development for Facebook.

However, Olivan said the company will not be adding more providers in the near future. “In the short and mid terms we have no plans for further Open ID partnerships in Europe.” We’ll follow up with more.