By Michael Olson | Posted on October 08, 2014
It’s official! Social network and email identities are now the most popular way to create accounts on the web. By eliminating the need to create and remember yet another username-password combination, the use of social identities accelerates account creation and login. And, social login’s popularity continues to grow – 90% have encountered social login and more than half of thoses actively using it. Most crucially, people like it; of those who use social login, 91% are satisfied with the experience.
Janrain has published quarterly reports for the last five years on social login preferences based on aggregated data from companies that use our solution. The key takeaway is that people want a choice of social login providers. People use each of their social networks for distinct purposes, whether to interact with friends and family, project their professional identity or follow influencers and trending news – and they want this same flexibility and relatability across the web with their identities as well.
Despite reports of privacy concerns and young people abandoning the network, Facebook’s value to consumers as a social login provider shows no signs of declining. Facebook increased its lead over Google during the past quarter, marking its second consecutive quarter of growth. Yahoo slipped to its lowest share ever, with Twitter picking up momentum in third place.
Google remains the strongest contender, which is largely attributable to unifying services like Gmail, Google+, YouTube, Android and Play under a single Google identity. People use a single Google login to access each of these services, making the ID stickier. Since social login preferences tend to reflect consumer affinities, we believe that the Google identity now has more brand affinity and value for consumers.
Despite the perception of a two-horse race, our data showed a rise in popularity among up-and-comers like Instagram, which earns 15-20% share among mobile-focused companies with younger audiences. PayPal and Amazon also perform well on niche websites. On select retail, banking and financial services sites with sensitive transaction-related use cases, PayPal’s share of preference can exceed 60%, while Amazon can command 25-35% share of logins on eCommerce sites that partner with the retail giant.
Consumer preference also varies widely across the world. VK is one of Russia’s most popular social networks, and on some Russian sites, commands as much as 70% of all social logins. In China, networks such as Sina Weibo, Renren, Tencent Weibo and QQ are popular. In Japan, many choose Mixi.
As with previous reports, we also analyzed consumer preferences across several industry segments:
Facebook had big gains on entertainment, gaming and music properties during Q3. Its share of logins on these sites grew by nearly 10% in the last year – nearly entirely at the expense of Twitter and Yahoo, both of which lost half the market share they had at this time in 2013. We believe Facebook’s growth was spurred by the ubiquity of Facebook Login on popular music sites such as Spotify, Pandora and Beats Music, which has helped condition consumers to use Facebook to connect on similar types of sites.
In the hyper-competitive B2B space, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn again traded places, with Google moving ahead last quarter by a narrow margin.
Social login plays a major role in improving registration conversion and developing a complete understanding of your customers and their behavior.
Social logins solves the challenge of collecting accurate and complete profile data without harming your acquisition rates. Social login transforms any registration process into a single click and makes it simple to get permission to access rich demographic and psychographic data. This customer profile data will help improve segmentation, personalization and targeting efforts.
It’s a headache to implement the plumbing for every social network API on your own. Each of these these networks use different protocols under the hood like OpenID, OpenID Connect, OAuth, and proprietary frameworks. As a result, coding social login can require significant time and development expertise. Ongoing maintenance is challenging, too, especially when networks change APIs – in some instances without advance notice. By writing once to a single API, a social login solution makes it easy to integrate multiple social networks. Implementing social login technology cuts deployment times to days from weeks or months and keeps technology resources focused on your core competencies.
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