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!

  • http://www.randomforo.com Matias

    Hello, I wonder if soon there will be a version for phpBB 3.0.11
    It is something that is much needed for the forums and as yet there is no system of social reliable login to phpBB.
    I think that if were successful in integrating it would have much success!

  • http://homenetworking01.info/ Simon Mackay

    If you have a social sign-in functionality, you could have the ability to allow users to have their comments they post about an article cross-posted on their Facebook Timeline or Google+ Stream. This could drive traffic back to your site. Similarly, allowing those of us who sign in to social media as a social-media page, as what FB and G+ offer could intensify a symbiotic relationship to your site and their page.

  • Mark Johnson

    social sign in is a great feature and will put addthis on steroids and make it far easier to use.