Few questions we often receive – “Do sites that use Facebook Connect as the only Sign up/Login option have high sign up conversion rates?” “What are the optimal conversion rates I should target though Facebook Connect?” “What could be benchmarks on what percentage of users opts to use Facebook Connect to Login vs. generic Sign Up process on sites that offer both?”
Let’s get into the basics. Facebook Connect (and oAuth for Twitter authentications) derives from OpenID – Technology for authenticating the unique identity of a web surfer who decides to log into your blog/community website in case such step is required by the owner of that platform (although Facebook Connect is slightly different than OpenID – It represents a fully packaged product and proprietary technology by Facebook. More about the difference between the two can be found here) In other words OpenID confirms that the signup is done by a real human being and not by those nasty small spam bot that constantly crawl the web.
Despite it sounds bit out of this world for non technical user – you have all seen Open ID in action. Whenever you run into website that requires Sign In or Sign Up you are presented with 2 options – fill up a form or use some of your existing social media channels to sign in and confirm your unique online identity. The social media buttons that you see next to the sign up form – That is Open ID.
Why Open ID is so revolutionary especially for Internet marketers?
- It ensures that people’s identities are real and authenticated whenever they sign on their platform
- It opens vast pool of opportunities for personalization, targeted offering and better user experience of the user on your platform
- Business decision makers see myriads benefits of social sign on such as improved targeting, positive buzz, increased loyalty, and ultimately increased revenue
Facebook Connect is the name of the gateway or the plugin that enables you to login to a website by using your Facebook profile instead of filling up a form. Because Facebook is currently world’s most massive social network you can meet a Facebook login button almost on every site that requires user authentication. Almost 50% of all website logins are done through Facebook, and web users who log into 3rd party sites with Facebook’s Graph API spend 50% more time on those sites, and view twice as many pages (Gidya research) .
The graph below shows various social media channels people use to sign in for their favorite websites
However smart marketers and web admins never leave Facebook as an only option to authenticate your web identity on a particular website. Many Facebook users are not tech savvy and they are skeptical about providing Facebook credentials to a third party app while having difficulties understanding the various permissions Facebook Connect requires during the login process. These are some of most common attitudes many consumers cuddle against using Facebook Connect:
- People thought they would be taken to their Facebook page, which caused a lot of confusion
- People thought other users of the site would automatically have access to their photos and personal information
- People didn’t trust the website with their Facebook password (they thought the site would store their password)
It is not difficult to encounter a person even within your own circle of people who maintains a similar attitude. Here is blast I got from one of my friends – No way I’m letting them connect to my Facebook account and spam my friends to tell them I’ve signed up or had some activity” This may not be a real danger with Facebook connect for all I know, but that’s my worry (remember Farmville…) – and with Facebook’s arcane privacy settings hidden around the site (which may also have changed, which keep changing) it just seems like a lot of bother to undo should it happen.
Therefore most social media websites offer alternative social login such as Yahoo, Google or Twitter. A Tech Crunch article unveils that although Facebook dominates in social login ratio, Google is quickly catching up marking 34% of all social media logins. Users see Google login as cleaner, more partitioned and more credible. Note few suggestions and best practices from our side:
- You shouldn’t force Facebook Connect upon the user; always offer an alternative
- If your app is new and users have little to compel them other than curiosity, skepticism about connecting via Facebook will be higher
Social login boosts conversion rates in almost every vertical you can remember with figures that would stun ever the biggest skeptic. The general ratio is – 80/20 or 80% of website logins are done through social media and only 20% of users still prefer to fill up a sign up from. In some industries this reaches up to 90% especially for online news channels.
Avoid asking for read and publish permissions back-to-back. Instead, ask for permissions to publish when people are ready to to do so.
You should not ask people for publish permissions immediately after read permissions. Doing so results in two fast app switches which is a bad experience. Instead, ask for publish permissions after people click a “share,” “post,” or “publish” option in your app.
Avoid having a double login
People expect Facebook Login to serve as their one entry point to log into an app. If there is information your app needs, but can’t receive through Login, you may request that information separately but should avoid asking people to re-enter information they’ve already granted via Login. Besides a few rare and special cases (device scenarios where Login isn’t available, finance apps with extra security), you should also avoid asking people for a secondary password. In those rare cases that you do, you should clearly explain to people why you are doing so.
Show people who they’re logged in as
You should provide some form of indication that a user is logged in to Facebook (for example, a person’s name or profile picture) within one click of your app’s home screen. Typically, this is in the form of a profile or settings page.
Are you still uncertain around implementing social login for your web platform and harness all the benefits that can come out of it? Which social media channel is predominant by users that login to your website? We would love to hear your individual stories. Share them in comments
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