The Shift Towards One Identity

The web has always been a place of multiple identities. Right now I act differently on my personal blog, this blog, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I have multiple identities. In the future there will only be one identity.

An interesting problem online advertising faces right now is that the same person might act differently at varying websites as they shift from one identity to the next. The shift to one identity is good for brands for multiple reasons. One identity will mean advertisers will be able to track easier and that users will behave more consistently from one web destination to the next. Demographic data should increase in relevance and prevalence simultaneously as users merge their numerous profiles into one identity and become easier to label and track. As a user interacts with polls, surveys, advertising tracking, registration information, and social media, brands will be able to track a user's reaction to branding and products across multiple websites and platforms.

This future is still a long ways off, but I hope to be working in this industry for many years to come and I'm looking forward to watching this transition. If you have thoughts on Facebook's recent implementation of OpenID, which is the event that prompted this post, or anything I've said here I'd love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter.

Written by Chris Allison on April 28, 2009


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Chris Allison