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Benefits of Linking a User’s Social Network Accounts on Your Site

By Michael Olson | Posted on January 14, 2011

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If you are considering social sign-in, your site’s registration or login page ultimately might look similar to this:

chicago tribune

Providing a choice of social networks for login is the proven method to increase site registrations. But what if your users have active accounts with more than one of the social networks? Or what if you want to access and leverage a user’s profile data from more than one network?

This is where account mapping can help, and Janrain Engage has you covered. Account mapping lets your new or existing users link multiple social network identities to a single account on your site. For your site members, this means greater flexibility – they can login to your site with any of their preferred social network accounts without inadvertently creating separate profiles. If a user decides to cancel her Facebook account that has previously been used to access your site but has linked a Google or Twitter identity, no problem.

Janrain customer Los Angeles Times provides a simple interface for its users to link their multiple social identities on the site:

Account Mapping LA Times


Account linking helps facilitate customer retention on your site. As individual social networks wax and wane in popularity due to lifecycles, the preferences of your users may change. Linking social identities ensures that you will always be protected against variability in the social web, and that users will never be locked out from accessing their account on your site.

In addition to benefitting your users, account linking makes it possible to collect pieces of social data from different sources in order to build a more comprehensive profile of your site members and expand engagement opportunities. As an example, users might share their name, verified email and contacts with your site from their Google account; interests, location and friends from Facebook, and employment history and business connections from LinkedIn. This data can be leveraged to tap into a broader set of social graphs – by empowering a single user to invite her Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections and Gmail or Yahoo! contacts to join your site, you can multiply your reach, expose your brand to a wider audience, and transform your site into a vibrant social community.

Janrain provides tools, guidance and best practices to our customers in order to help them achieve these benefits from linking social network identities.

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About the author

Michael Olson

Michael Olson

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Michael Olson joined Janrain more than five and a half years ago and has experienced the explosive growth of the digital marketing technology landscape. Previously, he managed demand generation programs at Janrain. Currently, as the Senior Product Marketing Manager, Michael drives go-to-market strategy for product launches as well as positioning and messaging to communicate the value of customer profile management solutions to companies. Michael's writing has been featured in publications such as GigaOM, Adotas and iMedia Connection.

View all posts by Michael Olson