The news that Facebook will allow users to log into Facebook with a 3rd party OpenID may sound alike a technical detail but it is a really big deal. One of the crippling aspects of the Facebook Connect strategy is that it welded together user authentication with every other Facebook service available to developers. And it gave unto Facebook the ability to aggregate individuals authenticated actions across the web. This bargain leaves everyone dealing with Facebook feeling used – developers give up far too much, and end users give up far too much.
By supporting OpenID, Facebook decouples authentication from the providing of services. This gives more power to developers, and more power to end users. And, by enabling a more win-win relationship, increases the chance that Facebook will take advantage of its position at the core the big social graph to offer immensely valuable network infomediary services.