Cloudrail - Social Login

This section presents the use-case of implementing social login for a (web) app. This chapter provides just an overview on Social Login and in the subsequent chapters, we will show how to set it up for Facebook and Twitter but it is very easy to add more services like Google Plus, LinkedIn, GitHub, Instagram, Slack, Windows Live and Yahoo. We will be using Node.js with Express on the server side.

Why Social Login?

One of the most common reasons why software developers and architects add a backend to their frontend(s) is the need for user management. In order for user management to work, signup and sign-in functionalities are the key. In the past, most applications had their own system for authentication and thus every user needed to actively create an account by providing email address, password and other information.

Not only is this cumbersome to the user but also notoriously insecure. Many users will use the same password everywhere, known as password fatigue, and with every party that has the password stored, the probability grows that it is stolen.

Of late, more and more services offer “social login” (“Login with Facebook”, “Login with GitHub”, etc.) which improves user experience by letting users signup/login with their already existing account on a popular platform.