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Social Logins and Why You Need Them

October 18, 2012

When you register on a website or mobile app via social login do you use a social network or identity provider like Google or Yahoo?  Increasingly, many people are for a variety of reasons not least of which is speed and the ability to bypass remembering which username/password combo you used next time you visit.  In fact, recent research shows 77% of people prefer social login to outdated registration processes.  And similar research shows that 86% of people say they may leave a site if asked to register the traditional way.   (source is here for both those stats)  This becomes particularly true for mobile user sessions that require registration.   Who wants to fill in all that info using their mobile phone keys?

Also increasingly sites that require registration, from ecommerce, to content and everything in between are making the social login option available.  Why?

The answer is easy.  It’s all about the data.  As we have discussed many time in the recent past, Facebook’s Open graph opens a multitude of opportunities for New Market Entreprenuers.  Among them, it allows facebook members to register on your site which also allows you to gain access to a plethora of their social data (of course, you must ask permission.)  Twitter and Linked in offer similar pass alongs.   The more you know about your site’s visitors, the better you can engage them, using social media, email or just good ol’ fashioned customer service calls.

We recently discovered some great data showing the trends for social registration thanks to Janrain.  Each quarter, they analyze social login and social sharing preferences across all of their customer websites.   Take a look at the data below and click here for the report (which shares additional data by vertical).  One thing is clear, Facebook dominates the social login world.  At a billion members strong, there should be little doubt.

For the first time ever since Janrain began analyzing such data nearly three years ago, Facebook’s popularity as a chosen provider for social login eclipsed 50%.  That said, a nearly equivalent percentage of people would rather use a different social identity, such as Google, Twitter or Yahoo!, to log in to sites across the web. When it comes to social login, people want choice. 

Q3 2012 Social Login Breakdown

Facebook’s share of social logins has increased steadily during the past three years.  Facebook’s 6% growth compared to Q2 2012 primarily came at the expense of Google, whose share dropped from 30% in Q2 to 25% in Q3.  And while Twitter’s share has not flourished at quite the rate we expected three years ago, Twitter checked in at 10% share of social logins in Q3, which is an all-time quarterly high for the network.

Q3 2012 Social Login Trends

Mobile Social Login Trends

Mobile Q3 2012 Social Login Trends

On mobile applications, Facebook saw a big jump in popularity as a social login provider in Q3, while Google experienced a small decline.  Not surprisingly, these trends closely mimic desktop web preferences.

Social Share Trends

Q3 2012 Social Share Trends

Social sharing is not just for sharing articles anymore. People are now able to share comments, purchases, reviews and other content from the web to their social networks. As a result, social networks have become a recommendation engine for web users. As we all suspect, Facebook and Twitter are far and away the most popular networks for sharing, but LinkedIn and Yahoo! maintain preference on niche sites that are catered to their audience (B2B sites for LinkedIn, as an example). During the past year, Twitter has rivaled Facebook, with nearly 40% of people preferring to share content they interact with across the web to their Twitter stream.  It’s also worth noting that, since Janrain introduced the capability to support sharing via email to Gmail contacts in June 2012, we are already seeing adoption within that channel.  2% of all sharing activity on the Janrain platform occurred via Gmail in Q3, a trend that we expect will only increase over time given the continued popularity of email as a preferred channel for sharing.

If your New Market project includes the registration requirement, we strongly urge you to look into the social registration option.

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