Have you ever visited a website (like, say, this one) and been bombarded with share buttons from sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz and login options for Facebook Connect, Google Friend Connect, Yahoo, Twitter and more?
A new proposed standard from IM and toolbar company Meebo hopes to solve this “Nascar problem” (i.e. logos everywhere) by detecting which networks you’re already logged into and only offering those as options.
Tonight Meebo is announcing the proposed standard, called XAuth (Extended Authentication), the New York Times and VentureBeat report. It’s not really a single login, but instead a way of offering only the login options that are relevant to you. Meebo is putting XAuth into its Meebo bar, which appears on a number of publisher websites. Robert Scoble of Building43 interviewed Meebo CEO Seth Sternberg about the plans — you can see the video below.
Who’s on board? Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, MySpace and Disqus, to name a few.
But there’s a big problem: Twitter and Facebook don’t appear to support XAuth yet. That means, rather than uniting these sharing services, the runner-up services are all banding together. That doesn’t simplify things for users or publishers.
And Facebook is unlikely to play along, as the company would much rather dominate the sharing space. On Wednesday at the F8 conference, Facebook will launch a product that aims to spread its “Like” button across the entire web. Facebook will also launch a website toolbar, reports The Times, hoping to kill off Meebo’s share bar.
While we love open standards and user choice, the smart money is on Facebook here. To the average user, one choice (Facebook) is much simpler than a handful of lesser-known services.