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WebFinger is basically an authentication service for identity providers based on using an email address as the unique identifier, something most users have already.

Comparison to OpenID

Much like OpenID, the aim is to provide a URI for identifying a single user (person)'s, however rather than requiring users to signup to a single (or multiple) OpenID providers initially before they have an ID, all the user needs to provide is their email address, which is already a part of most registration flows of modern Web Applications.


No specification for WebFinger exists but it is based on the original UseNet Finger protocol[1], and loosely based on XRD/XRDS, LRDD and Portable Contacts.



External Links


  1. wikipedia: Finger protocol

See Also

Email | Authentication | OpenID | XRD | FOAF | Gravatar | Cookie