Meebo, the web-based IM service, have proposed a new standard called XAuth. Using a new feature of HTML5, similar to cookies, an authentication token is stored in ‘LocalStorage’ within the browser. Therefore this will only work with modern browsers (IE8+, Safari4+, Chrome3+, FF3+).

You can see a demo of Meebo’s proposal at http://www.meebo.com/xauth and also there’s a YouTube video of Seth Sternberg explaining XAuth

Google, Microsoft, MySpace and Yahoo have signed up and implemented a first-pass at this. As the @Mashable article about XAuth says Twitter and Facebook don’t appear to be supporting it at all. “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” – Pete Cashmore.

And Pete goes on to suggest that Facebook and Twitter are big enough players to not dance to anyone else’s tune. So will this usage of the new ‘cookie’ implementation in HTML5 be tempting enough to create harmony across the big players? I doubt it, but XAuth looks like an interesting idea.