Introducing Social Sign-In

Introducing Social Sign-In
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Here at Ning, we pay close attention to customer feedback. Ning Creators consistently remind us how important it is to have complete freedom to customize their online community experience. An important request around this idea has been for a more streamlined member registration and sign-in process. After all, who has the time to create and remember yet another username and password?

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had our heads down, rolling out new ways for Ning Creators to integrate and unlock the value of their communities. Today, we’re taking another big step in this direction. With the launch of Social Sign-In, Ning Plus and Pro Network Creators now have the ability to enable sign up and sign in via Facebook, Google, or Yahoo!

How it works

First-time visitors no longer need to provide an email address and choose a password to sign up for a Ning Network. Instead, they can simply use an existing Facebook, Google, or Yahoo! account — and complete the registration flow in a couple of clicks. Their name and email address will be automatically populated in the sign-up form. Better yet, if they sign up with their Facebook account, their birthdate, gender, and profile photo will also be automatically filled out during the sign-up process.

Returning members will find that signing in to a Ning Network has now become incredibly simple. All it takes now is one click. Gone are the days when members would need to type in their username and password. On the Sign-Up / Sign-In box, members can also see which accounts are supported. If a signed-out member clicks on the icon of the service they initially chose to join with, they’ll be signed in right away — no extra steps or clicks needed.

This Social Sign-In feature is powered by Janrain, the leading user management platform for the social Web.

This implementation of Social Sign-In lays the foundation for supporting additional methods of third-party authentication. Facebook, Google, and Yahoo! are the initial set of available services, and we will be adding more options in the future.

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44 thoughts on “Introducing Social Sign-In

  1. Eric Suesz

    Hey, Bill: One more thing: Are you using Internet Explorer 7? If so, we have a known issue where these icons are always showing up on the Main Page. We think it may be IE7 only but are testing and hope to get this bug fix released without too much delay.

  2. Bill Neumann

    Hey all it works, but the sign in page does not have any of the logos on it?

    Welcome to
    Dental Sales Pro
    Sign Up
    or Sign In
    You can also sign up with:
    (nothing here)

    1. Eric Suesz

      I see the logos when I go to your page. It might take a few minutes or even longer to begin to show up. Try refreshing your page, too.

  3. Edmauro

    Ok Eric,

    But it is important to note that this is a technical evaluation of mine, based on strategy and not driven by passion for logo or any preference personal. I base myself mainly on market reality of my country and how Google is recognized here.

    I appreciate that and consider if you wonder why there has been much delay in the response of tickets. I have two tickets with no response since last week.

  4. Richard Posey

    Thank you for passing it along, Eric. I noticed the social sign-in is powered by a third-party, so there may be cost issues vs. the Mini plans. That would be a very understandable reason. (unless maybe you could get the third-party to buy into the idea that providing it to the Mini sites also improves the number of sites moving up to the Plus level …)

  5. Richard Posey

    Didn’t intend to offend or be aggressive, but I think pushing the social logon down to the Mini level will cause / help some of the Mini networks to grow into the the Plus level. You benefit as you have more networks ramp up to Plus, we benefit because it facilitates the speed at which we grow. Win-win. That’s all.

    I’d just like to know if that would be considered.

    Richard Posey

  6. Edmauro


    I have two open tickets and that are outstanding and I am being ignored by his team. The problem to which I referred in my last response was due you have posted the wrong link, but I have found the correct link and I could take some questions.

    My question now is: why not NING used the same Google logo that appears in the photo that is in this post?

    I’ve never seen Google use this logo and I’ve never seen any other service to use it to represent him, and this includes famous services, for example: AddThis and RPX Now (Janrain). At least here in Brazil, the logo used goes unnoticed by many, so only if the user clicking or mousing over is that he knows that it is Google.

    I believe if you have any strong reason for choosing to use that logo, they should at least allow the choice of the logo, separately in Google’s case, through the dashboard.

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hey, Edmauro. We haven’t had a lot of feedback about the logo that is used for Google. I’ll let our team know that you aren’t a fan of that particular Google logo. Not sure it will change, but I will voice that opinion for you.

  7. Richard Posey

    I feel like my suggestion of pushing the social login down to the Ning Mini level was deftly ignored. Not a “we’ll think about it.” Not a “I’m afraid we’ll never … ” Nada. Just silence.

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hey, Richard. No offense meant by not responding to your blog comment. We aren’t always able to respond to every comment here, but we have a very active community on the Creators network that might be of interest for you. We don’t have plans to offer this Social Sign-In feature for the Mini plan, but I’ll pass along your suggestion to the product folks.

  8. Networker


    Are you using https once signed in? Or does it depend on which network users use to sign in?


    1. Eric Suesz

      Hey, Networker. You might want to share your question on the Creators Ning Network. We’re not always able to answer technical questions on the blog comments.

  9. Richard Posey

    To add to my previous remark, I think of Ning Mini as being suitable for small groups that will never get very big … OR … as a way for a network creator to see if an idea will develop sufficient initial traction to pursue scaling up and building for a bigger audience. For me, I view Ning Mini as serving the latter purpose.

    If Ning smooths that path a little bit, like with the new sign-up/sign-in, all creators of new networks will benefit and Ning will profit, as well.

    Thanks, again.

  10. Richard Posey

    I’ve lobbied that a previous new feature ought to be pushed down to the Ning Mini network creators. But, I think this one is even more important.

    I think the hurdle of having to create a new account is one that blocks many people from joining a Ning network. It becomes one of life’s much derided “one more things.”

    You DO want us to grow our networks so that we will hit the point that we have to upgrade, right? This is one feature that I think would be very much in Ning’s best interest to make available on the Ning Mini platform, as well. Both Ning and the network creator would profit from it (even if the network creator is a little bit [$] poorer, at first)

    Please think about it. Thanks!

  11. Dave Iannone

    Any way to track how many people signed up NEW the regular way, vs FB, Google or Yahoo?

    Seeing if existing members have tied their existing account to their FB, etc would also be helpful but I think having some basic stats on this would be very helpful.

  12. Edmauro


    I see this:

    The page you requested could not be found. Return to the Ning Blog homepage”.

  13. expansiontech

    This feature is not so good at all. It will make your network more vulnerable to SPAM and easy access from the outside net.

    I had encountered problem using this feature yesterday and reported it to NING Support.

    Allowing anyone to “sign up and sign in” using yahoo, Google and facebook was a bad idea.

    I enabled this yesterday on my network “” and two SPAM users signed up using yahoo, these two users sent a SPAM messages to all members of the network.

    Not a good feature, it only invites and attract more Spammers.

    I had to block them from the network and disabled the Signup/Sign in “Yahoo, Google and Facebook”
    For now, I will not use this feature.

    Ning creator and developer team should and must check on this and do more testing and case studies to avoid and prevent this issue from happening again.

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hello, expansiontech! We do quite a bit of testing. Actually, these services verify email addresses, so that is probably a big plus with regard to spam. I’ll pass your comments along to the team. Note also that you still have the ability to moderate your membership as you always have and that this is an optional feature. I recommend approving new members if you are concerned about spam. That’s just about the most sure-fire way to prevent spam.

  14. Edmauro

    What is the next to be added, as the roadmap for you, is Twitter? And Windows Live will take a lot to be added?

  15. ariel

    I am the Admin and Network creator of my site :
    I have issue to report regarding the new added feature ” Sign-up / Sign-ii using Yahoo,Google and Facebook.

    Allowing members to sign up and sign in using yahoo, google and facebook was a bad idea.
    I enabled this yesterday on my network “” and two two SPAM users signed up, these two users sent a SPAM messages to all members of my network.

    Totally not a good idea and definitely not a good feature, it only invites and attract SPAM.

    To fix the issue, I had to block them from the network and disabled the Signup/Signin “Yahoo, Google and Facebook”
    You need to check on this and do more testings and case studies prior to releasing it, just a recommendation.

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, ariel. The feature is entirely optional, so if it doesn’t work for you, you can turn it off. Note that if you are being attacked by a spambot, it won’t be coming through this method, as all of the people who sign up using this feature have actually been verified by these third-party services.

  16. Nilson

    When will the phrase “or sign-in with one of these” will be available in Portuguese-Brazil? The translation wolud be: “ou faça seu login com sua conta no:” . The phrase “Create a new account…” Should be “Crie uma nova conta…”

    1. Eric Suesz

      I’m not sure, Nilson, but that is a good question. I’ll ask our team to consider making any translations that haven’t yet been made sooner rather than later. Thanks!

  17. James

    Wonderful! I have been waiting for this feature for months. So glad to see that this is up!! Thank you, Ning.

    Will those that already joined automatically have their profile picture added if they don’t have one already when they sign in with their Facebook account?

    Also, a suggested feature to add–let members “like” each others posts and comments, and suggest to them friends that they might want to add. Basically, add more Facebook type of features. I think that this would cause people to particpate in the site more. Many people will like something, but do not want to take the time to comment. Right now, commenting is the only option to show that someone likes a post.

    Anyway, thank you for this upgrade!

  18. Ariel

    What happens if a user already has a profile and login? Will they be able to associate their existing Ning account with a FB/Goog/Y! account?

    1. Evan Goldin Post author

      Hey Ariel!

      Hope you’re well.

      Undoubtedly, some existing members may try to Sign In via Facebook, Google, or Yahoo right from the Sign In page, even if they originally signed up with an email address and password. When this happens, they’ll be signed right in if the email address provided by Facebook, Google, and Yahoo matches the one they originally joined with. If it does not match, they’ll be told that no account exists, and will be asked to sign in with their email and password. Once they sign in, they can link their accounts (even if the email addresses are different) by going to their Settings-Connections page.

      Ning Product Manager

  19. Nelson

    To enable just click the manage tab and it appears automatically on your screen.

    QUESTION: So, will anyone and everyone with a fb, google, yahoo account be able to sign into my site, or only members? I have my site set up for 1. a specific group of people and not just everyone in the world, 2. I have the pre approve members feature enabled.


    1. Evan Goldin Post author

      Hey Nelson!

      This doesn’t allow people to bypass your sign up process — it just makes it a bit easier for them, so they don’t have to create a password. All new members will still be subject to your approval. Be sure to check out the FAQs, where we have answers to this question and more.

      Ning Product Manager

  20. David

    I went to that Help Center article, and I don’t have a Sign Up/Sign In Tab. I am a Pro account holder, am I correct in thinking that it might not have reached my site yet?

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