What is the difference between identity provider and connection?

I am reading the “basics” tutorial at this link: https://auth0.com/docs/getting-started/the-basics

It says “Auth0 sits between your app and the identity provider that authenticates your users (such as Google or Facebook).”
It then says “This relationship between Auth0 and the identity provider is referred to as a Connection.”

Therefore I assume that Google and Facebook are ‘identity providers’, right?

But it then says “Connections are sources of users and they can be of the following types:”, and one of the types is " * Social logins: Google, Facebook, Twitter, and more".

So what I want to know is, are Google and Facebook identity providers or connections? I’m currently using Auth0 in my React Native app and have the standard Auth0 login screen. So I’m wondering, in this case, what is my identity provider and what is my connection?


Hi Gabe,

The terminology is a bit confusing here. Google (the company) is an Identity Provider. Google knows who you are (via your username and password) and can tell a service provider that you really are who you say you are.

The social login connection to Google is a connection. It uses the OAuth2 protocol to connect to Google, and this protocol is what is used to tell the SP (your app) that you really are who you say you are.

Social login connections can go to many IDPs, and so we shorthand it to the Google connection. Hence the confusion.


1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 15 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.