Is social login right for you? - Smile Machine
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Is social login right for you?

Is social login right for you?

Social Login is a great mechanism. It enables new users to register for an account and quickly sign-in, simply by using the social network identities they already have. No form-filling required – and one less password to remember.

What is Single Sign-On?

SSO or Social Login is a mechanism which uses existing login information from social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Yahoo! to sign into third party apps or websites. It’s extremely popular and a process that you are likely to be familiar with across both the web and in native mobile apps.

In 2011, Spotify adopted Facebook as their only sign-in approach. OK, so they did have to back down from this approach a year later and provide a traditional sign in form – but they still offer Facebook login in a prime location. As for networks like Pinterest and Klout – they require that users sign-in with either Facebook or Twitter to create an account.

Why should you implement social login into your app?

Benefits for users:

  • It’s simple – it doesn’t require the user to remember another unique username and password.
  • It’s time-efficient – the user can gain immediate access to the app’s full functionality by clicking on the ‘Login with Social Network’ button.

Benefits for app providers:

  • Quicker registration is a huge plus for users – but it’s great news for app providers, too. A simple, click-through registration process means more users are signed up – and in record speed. SSO is a standard process on the modern web – so don’t put off potential users by failing to offer a simpler registration tool that users prefer.
  • Implement SSO and gain a new channel to interact with potential users. Just look at Candy Crush – those posts that appear on our Facebook News Feed are just all-singing all-dancing adverts for the Candy Crush app. It’s those kind of posts that attract new users by providing an insight into an app’s content and functionality. They even double up as a link into the appropriate App Store…

Of course, this much functionality doesn’t come for free and requires a bit of developer legwork to get up and running. But the potential value it adds to your marketing armoury is huge.

Which social login providers should I implement support for?

Analyse the market, what are your competitors implementing? Think about your target user group – what social networks do they use? For consumer-facing apps – Facebook and Google have received the broadest adoption across the industry. If you’re making an app for business, consider LinkedIn as a login provider. In the b2b market, they’re a strong contender – so don’t ignore the different industry verticals!

How do I implement social login?

Fortunately implementing social login with the major providers is really simple. Both of the biggest players – Facebook and Google+ – both offer relatively simple drop in solutions to enable mobile apps to authorise users. Additionally, you will also need to enable any backend services your app requires – ensuring you can validate the user details supplied by the social login provider.

Final thoughts

Of course, social login won’t fit in to every eventuality. Enterprise apps created for internal use are one such example. As we have seen, SSO makes registering and entering an app’s full functionality easier, quicker and available to all.

Enterprise apps need to offer a higher level of security to ensure that their internal data is protected from those outside of the business network.

Instead, businesses will need to implement an integration platform with your companies SSO service, assuming it exists. For more social login stats, check out the LoginRadius Social Login and Social Sharing Stats Report 2014 infographic, below.