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Logo of WebFinger

WebFinger is a protocol specified by the Internet Engineering Task Force IETF that allows for discovery of information about people and things identified by a URI.[1] Information about a person might be discovered via an "acct:" URI, for example, which is a URI that looks like an email address.

WebFinger is specified as the discovery protocol for OpenID Connect,[2] which is a protocol that allows one to more easily log in to various sites on the Internet.[3]

The WebFinger protocol is used by the federated social networks GNU social[4] and Diaspora[5] to discover users on federated nodes and pods as well as the remoteStorage protocol.[6]

As a historical note, the name "WebFinger" is derived from the old ARPANET Finger protocol, but is a very different protocol designed for HTTP.[7]

The protocol payload is represented in JSON.


Client request:

GET /.well-known/webfinger?resource=acct%bob%40example.com HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com

Server response:

	"subject": "acct:bob@example.com",
	"aliases": [
	"properties": {
		"http://example.com/ns/role": "employee"
	"links": [{
			"rel": "http://webfinger.example/rel/profile-page",
			"href": "https://www.example.com/~bob/"
			"rel": "http://webfinger.example/rel/businesscard",
			"href": "https://www.example.com/~bob/bob.vcf"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jones, Paul E.; Salgueiro, Gonzalo; Jones, Michael B.; Smarr, Joseph (September 2013). "RFC 7033: WebFinger".
  2. ^ OpenID Connect Discovery 1.0
  3. ^ Welcome to OpenID Connect
  4. ^ "AFAIK GNU Social uses OStatus, which uses WebFinger (for identities), Salmon (fo... | Hacker News". news.ycombinator.com. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  5. ^ How Diaspora Connects Users
  6. ^ remoteStorage protocol draft at the IETF website.
  7. ^ Introducing WebFinger

External links[edit]