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?

1 Answer 1


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:
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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? Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 13:37

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