Introducing Social Sign In

We’re stoked to announce the newest addition to AddThis Labs:
Social Sign In.

You’ve probably noticed that many websites now allow you to register or sign in using one of your existing social network accounts, like your Facebook username or your Twitter ID. It’s not just a startup fad; in fact, there’s solid science behind it. Blue Research studied the holiday shopping habits of US consumers and noticed that the vast majority of us are annoyed by having to create a new account to use a site, and would generally rather use one of our existing social network accounts.

If you’ve ever had to register on an obscure website just to buy one perfect gift, you probably know exactly how this feels! Even outside of retail applications, users are much more likely to register for and engage with your site if the process is bootstrapped with their existing online identity–some research has shown users authenticating socially spend up to 50% more time on site than the rest.

Seeing the value of social authentication is easy. Building it, though, hasn’t been. Most existing social authentication solutions have either required a lot of complicated server-side programming; mastering the ins and outs of OpenID, OAuth, and other specifications; or paying for a hosted solution and thus giving up control over your users’ data, not to mention some of your budget!

Our approach is simpler. And it might be the right one for you.

Example of Google, Twitter and Facebook sign in buttons
Use their standard buttons, or design your own.

Social Sign In by AddThis is a straightforward JavaScript library that makes it easy to strengthen your relationship to your users by adding Facebook, Twitter or Google authentication to your site.You provide the application keys for each service you’d like to integrate. We take care of rendering the buttons and managing the authentication flow. When a user successfully authenticates, we provide the data directly to you, via JavaScript.

Some of the social data you’d get,
if I logged into your site using Social Sign In.

From then on, it’s your show, whether you want to pre-fill a registration form, directly create a new account, or store the data for later analysis. Our goal is just to make it easy to bring your users’ social data to your site, whether for registration, authentication, or personalization. You can try it out live on our Labs page.

Want to offer as many services as possible? No problem. Regardless of the network used, the data comes back in the same format — so you only have to write code once.

Like all our tools, you’ll get data in our analytics dashboard, too. We’re starting by keeping track of what networks your users are logging in with, but we’d love your thoughts on other information that might be relevant.

To make integration even easier, we’ve open sourced a fully functional demo in JavaScript, PHP and MySQL, with a simple user registration system based on Social Sign In. If you’ve always wanted a user system, feel free to start with ours! Or you can use our code as a basis for integrating Social Sign In into your existing registration and authentication system.

Questions? Comments? We’d love your feedback!

  • I have a number of websites and I’ve experimented with every social plugin I could find. AddThis is the best I’ve found in terms of function and flexibility. Now with social sign – it’s even better.

  • Hi, I use wordpress. Can you tell how I can integrate the code from github? I would like to use the registration and login page that you have created.

  • Thanks Liz!
    Chetan, we’re looking into developing a plugin to make social sign in available for WordPress. Would you want to use it just to register users for commenting on your blog, or also for writing blog posts etc.?

  • So your system is live on my site. Just a few thoughts though, if you ever went off line, or decided to end the system (it is only a lab), I would have no way of signing in my users as I would only store the add this signature right? Would you release your method of calculating this if you were to take it off line? Secondly are you sure you are using the latest authorize app page for twitter, it seems to be an old style.

  • Andres

    Very nice! I agree with Matthew, I would like to use it with WordPress. I love to have it not just for letting people register to comment but also allow for writing post.

  • To second Liz, a WP plugin would be great. I would be interested in using sign in for WordPress for comments only. If I am allowing people to post I would be managing that myself.

  • Chetan

    If the wordpress plugin can make the registration and signin process similar to addthis, that’d be a blockbuster. It should have the option for both logging in through the social buttons as well as registering on the wordpress site for those without accounts on these networks.

  • Chetan

    Hi Matthew!

    I’d like to use it to help users to register and submit a form on my site. It’d be a bonus if they can comment with it too. However, it’d be great if there was a way for me to port the code you have provided for wordpress. I’d be happy to follow any steps that you would recommend and test the code on my site.

    Alternatively, how long would it take for the plugin to be released? The addthis login page is really cool and simple.

  • @David That’s a great idea–we’d definitely share the method if we ever stop supporting it. We’ll look into the Twitter app style, too. Most importantly, you win the first implementer award! I’d love to know how it went for you, and whether more or different documentation would have been helpful. Also whether you would like an AddThis t-shirt. :-)

    @Mark @Andres I think ultimately we’d give you the option of using it to register contributors or just commenters.

    @Chetan We’ll definitely reach out to you when we have a beta ready. We don’t have a timeline yet but we’re actively working on it and will update here in the comments.

  • jf

    Because there is a dashboard to monitor which social account users login with, whAt are the data that addthis stored?

    By using this, does users authorized my website or addthis? In another word, if my website wants other permission such as requesting user’s friends info, how will it goes about?

  • @jf It’s your own app that’s authorized — you can requested extended permissions if you’d like. You have to provide an API key or app ID for each of the platforms.

    Everyone on WordPress, we have an alpha in progress and are hoping to release a beta in the next couple weeks. Please drop me a line (matt at addthis dot com) or tweet at me (@keesan) if you’d like to be a beta tester!

  • jf

    Cool. But what data does Addthis stored? And how does Addthis uses these data?

  • @jf We store nothing, besides that the user authenticated using service X. As of this writing, none of the other data we summarize for you is stored anywhere–it just gets passed back to your app, to use as you see fit.

  • Tanh dang

    Hi Guy

    I am using plugin addthis social sign Facebook. but i can add permission facebook in this plugin ?. Please help to me.

    Thanks & Best regard.

  • Nice, though we need to have users login via LinkedIn..
    When would that be available?
    (I’m using Lanoba now..)

  • jf

    Hi, what data is stored for the generation of data summary?

  • I echo the call for a WP plugin. I’d be interested in both comment registration and site registration for posting.

  • @jf We don’t store any data except for the service the user used to authenticate with, the page they were on, and the time it happened.

    @mickey It’s coming soon! We’re using it internally and hope to have it out mid-month. Please drop me a line if you’d like to be a beta tester.

  • Someone has the structure of the database (SQL DUMP)? I would use the project hosted on GitHub, but there did not find the database structure.

  • @chetan Ihave made a post to explain How to use it with wordpress, the only problem is that the social sign in plugin don’t give E-mail and I think it’s the only way to merge a social account with an existing account.
    But, If you only use social sign in to connect and register, my method works fine.

    You can see it here :

  • Yes, a WP plugin would likely make me switch to you guys. Right now we’ve paid to use another service that allows for WP integration directly. It creates user accounts with one click when they choose to sign-up with Facebook etc. but it also allows them to skip the social sign-up process and manually create an account as well. Glad to see you guys are heading this direction.

  • Alain

    @Matthew Like Wellington said, what is the MySQL database definition? There should be a .sql script to create the tables.

    Also, the git hub project URL is now

  • We’re working on getting that updated to actually have a proper README and the supporting SQL instructions. Thanks for your patience! In parallel we’re bringing the WordPress plugin to fruition, and should have a beta ready next week.

  • @Alain @Wellington We’ve added the SQL create script and a little bit more flair:

  • Alain

    Nice! Thank you very much!

  • No problem! Let us know how it goes.

  • Alan

    I’d like to be a beta tester for the WP plugin also please :) This is way cool and I like the clean buttons!

  • Alan

    @matthew: will the WP plugin also have a place where we can say “Welcome [Name]” like the demo page on labs? Perhaps a snippet we can place where we’d like?

  • Alan

    One last idea :) If the widget for the WP plugin could have those buttons (as shown in demo) say in the sidebar. Then after the login, they can do their comments (and such) but also it can ‘bookmark’ their favorite posts and/or a ‘read later’ type system. So:

    Welcome, John Doe

    Your Reading List:
    – Blah blah blah
    – More blah blah

    Your Favorites:
    – Ba Ba Blah

    Click here to view your profile and edit lists.

  • Aboulfazl

    very nice ;)

  • another ‘me too’ for the WP plugin. I’d like to enable registered users to comment. cheers.

  • We’ve got a beta version up on now! You can install it directly from your admin console by searching for AddThis Social Sign In, or from — please do let us know what you think.

  • Quy Le

    Are you going to charge for this later? I’m afraid of getting bitten by payment after I use it on my site.

  • Anil

    Is social sign-in for mobile apps through addThis iOS/android libraries.

  • @Quy Core AddThis features will always be free. Similar services that cost money usually are hosting the user system for you — since we’re just a lightweight library connecting your user system to these third-party networks, there’s no significant additional cost to us for offering this feature.

  • @Anil That’s a great idea that we’ll definitely consider in a future SDK release! Right now we only offer social sign in through JavaScript.

  • Pingback: Introducing Social Sign In for WordPress | AddThis Blog()

  • Tell

    How I can get the Email from the visitor ?

  • Hi,

    Looks great. Don’t think I saw an answer to the question about LinkedIn, which we too would need.

    Are you planning this please?

  • Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I have always loved AddThis. I was even more excited to see the inclusion of Social Sign In features. However, it seems to be quite primitive compared to solutions like HybridAuth which allows authentication via MSN, LinkedIn, and so many other providers. When can we expect other providers in AddThis as well?

    Best Regards,


  • Magnus

    Will other sites be supported in the future? I’m interested in Microsoft account authentication also. These 3 aren’t the only ones, but I see the need to start somewhere.
    I’m currently using/testing janrain and I’m not entirely happy with their system of buttons, especially if you’re making a mobile website. This looks alot better.

  • Alex

    Thank you for really easy solution for quick start. One question: how to change buttons style? Or just make them bigger?

    Thank you!

  • @Pete We’re investigating!

    @Suman We’re going to be adding as many providers as we can. However, unlike HybridAuth, we’re pursuing a very lightweight JS solution that doesn’t depend on any particular server-side infrastructure. There are limitations to what we can do in the JavaScript layer, but we figured rather than making another HybridAuth-esque knockoff, we could add some value to people who just wanted the most popular services without having to connect on the backend.

    @Magnus We’ll definitely be adding as much as we can! What don’t you like about JanRain’s? Why is it particularly bad on mobile? I’d love to know how we can make our offering as useful as possible.

  • jackffe

    Will other sites be supported in the future? I’m interested in Microsoft account authentication also. These 3 aren’t the only ones, but I see the need to start somewhere.I have always loved AddThis. I was even more excited to see the inclusion of Social Sign In features.

  • Sounds great. But there’s so many platforms…I have a blog/social media built with phpfusion. What do you need from me to get the codes working for my site?

  • I love this feature of signing in with social sites. I’ll implemeted in all of my sites today.
    Thank you.

  • Hello,

    I want to use this for users login via LinkedIn, it`s this working for a Joomla site?

    Thank you !

  • What would be great ~ trying to stay in the theme of keeping SSI “light” ~ would be if it would integrate with you sharing plugin so you could use its infrastructure to place SSI shortlinks/graphics for example.

  • IRIS

    to know about my my page and sites