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Initially my application had just the native log in form, but I recently added a Facebook log-in as well as sharing/invitation ability for those authenticated via Facebook. I would like to add other third party log-in as well.

My question is with regards to how the sharing should work for those not logged in via the third party services.

  1. Should I just omit the functionality,
  2. provide a temporary third party authentication to activate the functionality
  3. or a way to "link" a a user to their other accounts?

If it is one of the latter 2, would it be better to provide a central location for the authentication/linking to take place, or to provide the ability to do so at any location where it would require the user to be authenticated?

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1 Answer

It's a pretty common praxis to collect all the "linked" services in a common settings form.

For un-linked services you should either remove the functionality, or you could disable it (with a message that describes why it is disabled). Eg. "Link to Foursquare if you want to add location".


Example from Foursquare:
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Example from Path:
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Example from StackExchange:
enter image description here

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Follow-up question(maybe it should go in it's own question): if the third party services require session info/token, should the user be notified of that, or should they safely assume that after they have linked their account that it is performing the authentication in the background? –  Brent Hronik Aug 13 '13 at 13:37
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