WordPress.com introduces Connect, a “login with” API

wpcom-connectWordPress.com has introduced a new API today called WordPress.com Connect. It’s an API to allow websites and applications to offer login capability for WordPress.comΒ users.

It’s not surprising Automattic has introduced this feature. After all, they have tons of services that obviously already use something similar to link their WordPress.com, Akismet, PollDaddy, and VaultPress products.

In the end, this doesn’t appear to be a particularly different product from other large services such at Github, Twitter and Facebook that offer such capabilities. WordPress.com does have tens of millions of users though, and I personally would be more comfortable leaving my logins up to WordPress.com than other third party services that wouldn’t be as concerned about how they interact with WordPress.org based websites. So for certain niches (like Post Status would be a perfect example) this could be a great option for simpler login / register features.

The API seems simple. Any medium-level developer will be able to understand and easily integrate WordPress.com Connect — at least from what I can tell based on the Docs.

The big unanswered question is whether this will catch on. I’m also a little confused why Gravatar isn’t listed as part of this. Or maybe it is? It seems it would’ve been the most obvious service to advertise as being compatible with WordPress.com Connect, since it’s already the default avatar service across so many platforms.

I’m also curious whether this will end up as a easy to enable feature of Jetpack, or if WordPress.org users will need to follow the developer docs like any other website or app. It makes sense to me that it’d be built in to Jetpack soon.

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  1. You must connect with WordPress.com to get a gravatar. So from what I can see… it is part of it.

    By using login with WordPress.com (you’re not just tapping into WP.com blog users, but also all other Automattic properties that use single sign-on). For example: Akismet, VaultPress, PollDaddy, etc.

    It’d be interesting to see if Jetpack gets this feature.

    1. I would be shocked if JP didn’t get it. It might take some sight configuration on the comment login form depending on theme, but the hook to add support would be like one line so I can’t imagine this wouldn’t be part of JP.

  2. Syed, would it interest you from a WP Beginner standpoint? I feel like if any niche would use this, it might be ours. Surely most of our readers already have .com accounts.

  3. See, I thought this already existed — in fact I would have bet money on it. I know that there were sites that would allow login or whatever via WP.com before, I guess this is just an extension of that but for everyone.

    I’m not opposed to something like this, especially since it’s basically just another OpenID/OAuth type of solution (when Brad Fitzpatrick, the father of basically modern Web 2.0 and the man without which most of our tools (I’d argue that includes WP and WP.com) created OpenID in 2005, I’ve always argued that it was the right idea and the wrong implementation. The OAuth/XAuth protocols were much better implementations of essentially the same idea), but I wonder at the inherent value for end users.

    For Automattic, the value is clear as it extends the use of their platform and login. Same as it does do Google, Twitter and insertLoginEndpointHere, but I wonder what the value is for users aside from “freedom” (which let’s be frank, end users don’t care about) and potentially as an easier way for developers to register accounts.

    That said, my only real concern is that as much as I like Gravatar (a service that pre-acquisition was a frequent companion with the comment system that JS-kit (now Echo) merged with back in the Blogger hey day of 2004/2005), I always fear that using my WP.com login will make my WP.com blog URL appear in a comment or profile, even thiugh it has literally only existed as an Akismet login for the last 8 years or so.

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