GoogleMe vs Facebook, let the identity management fight begin.

Rumor or not, google is going to fight the social network market. its not an obvious reason of why they are doing it for the third time. The value of the social networks is only starting to emerge in Facebook and that is also debatable over what is the next phase there. it seems the fight here is not about the social network side of things, nor it is over the direct monetary value though its growing and can become huge.

The way Facebook is distributing its resources in login API, restore identities to the rightful owner and expanding the identity attributes and security settings, makes me ponder what is the value in that?

Looking at the WWW space there is some thing missing, some thing that no government will be happy to expose. its the identity management system, there is no way i can prove online who i am through any government institute. they give me my identity card and that is it. though in some countries you are needed to use your ID when making a transaction with a credit card over the internet it is still not a very robust way to achieve identification.

Facebook is attempting to get to the status of WWW Land identity management company/organisation, something only governments do in the real world. this indicates to me that the real social network value is not short term capitalization like advertisement or social marketplace but in the identity management of the WWW Land.

The firm that will rule the social network of today will rule the WWW identity management market of tomorrow.

But wait!! what is the value in that? well, ask AMEX/VISA or any other identity theft fighting company that will tell you how much they spend a year figuring out who is a legit person. How about making that donation on every transaction to Google or Facebook?

Google probably know this and are making their efforts to create an easy to adopt alternative to Facebook, that said they have not been ultra-successful in doing such and are losing ground, and people, to Facebook’s new buzz words like Social Marketplace (did i hear ebay and amazon?).

What do you think?


  1. Yuval, interesting angle!
    But surely there are other companies out there fighting fraud every day? How will Facebook confirm the identity of someone, who has no intention of being honest about his/her identity? It is so easy now to set up fictitious email address, log in via a proxy server, and create a Facebook account. With that in mind, there are too many people out there just amassing friends and connections, so even a fictitious account can look real.
    My point is – an online identity, can be a combination of “earthy” identities, which can shop, befriend, and date online. The challenge will be to spot and expose/shut down such fraudulent identities.

  2. Yes raz you are correct, there are allot of companies that try to identify the legit or non legit entities in the world. some of them do well and some fail miserably, like the centennials in japan that were mostly dead.
    The information most of these companies rely on exists today in the social network and patterns analysis will have enough information to reach the part where it is very efficient.
    Like google search algorithm if you know the secret sauce you can fool the system, but they dont expose it like google do so it is more complex to stumble upon it, but is feasible.
    The online identity is only there due to the lack of a global or local identity institute (RTA for you) that is willing to identify people online.
    The earthly identity will correlate to an online identity when there will be a commercial value in it, governments wont expose their citizen base to the network as there is only a threat at the moment for them to do so.
    This vacuum will be filled by some organization or another.

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