The SitePoint PHP blog continues their series looking at authenticating your application against other social networking services with this new post discussing the merging of accounts. This merging allows you to determine if the same user is using more than one account to log into your system.
If you allow users to sign up through different social networks and perhaps your own registration system, there is a good chance some users will have multiple accounts. How annoying can it be for a user who signed up through Facebook earlier, to come back later and log in through Twitter because he thought he used that one? We can prevent this by letting the user merge manually or try to use an automatic system to try and identify duplicated users.
He tracks the information about the users in two different database tables, one for the user themselves and another representing that user's provider (the social network). He gives an overview of two methods you could use for merging these accounts: either doing it manually by suggesting it to the user or trying to do it automatically based on the data you already have.