By Katie Keenan | Posted on August 06, 2010
We’ve been running on the Janrain platform for over half a year now. We use Janrain Engage to allow for social logins, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. When we first built our product, Tal.ki Embeddable Forums, we made the conscious decision to not build our own user login system, we wanted to go the third-party route, this had two advantages:
At first, we directly integrated with the social network providers and provided support for Facebook, Google, and Twitter. But we quickly learned that managing these providers required ongoing work to follow their ever-changing APIs (I’m looking at you Facebook). For a startup, that was taking significant resources. A colleague had mentioned Janrain. I was familiar with the company from their very early work & contributions in the OpenID space. After reading up on their documentation, we really liked the idea of supporting only *one* API and letting Janrain handle the rest, from evolving APIs to adding new providers. The decision was clear for us and we made the switch rapidly.
We quickly became impressed with the features Janrain had to offer, like login analytics, and a dashboard to select and edit login network preferences. The ability to track daily logins has proved useful. It allows us to know where to focus our attention for pushing updates to a person’s activity stream. And because we support Single Sign-On (SSO), we can also track the logins of third-party companies we partner with and see how their daily activity is improving. Some of our partners include Weebly, Bligoo, and Yola.
We’re now supporting more logins than we had ever planned, and that is important, for instance, when the Facebook privacy issue hit the mainstream news, we saw Facebook logins drop, and a handful of other logins picked up, that we wouldn’t have previously supported.
We have a second product line that doesn’t have support for social login. Comparing the two services, I’ve noticed a few interesting things:
We’re continuing to integrate more of the Janrain product line into our services, and in the past few months, I’ve had a number of colleagues tell me they’re doing the same.
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