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What You Need to Know About Using Social Login for Your Brand
by Caroline Crawford | June 17, 2015 | eCommerce, Facebook, Login Services, Social Login, Social Media | 20 comments

Facebook’s social login functionality with Integration Application Programming Interface (API) capabilities  was created so users could easily sign into a variety of 3rd party applications and websites without having to create new profiles on those other websites. At the same time, developers of those apps and websites (including retailers, vendors, brands, and manufacturers) could not only authenticate users quickly, they could also collect information about them using their Facebook profiles. It’s very popular, but over the last year, Facebook has given users more control over which profile information they share when they use “Login with Facebook” functionality.

Consumers are no longer comfortable with freely giving away personal information, so Facebook implemented a new API for social login that lets users decide how much personal, behavioral and demographic information they will share with apps and websites. Sites that started using Facebook Login after April 30, 2014 have to use the new API. Sites that started before then were given until April 30, 2015 to change to the new API.

What Has Happened Since Changes Were Announced in 2014?

Since the changes were announced, apps are only asking for about half as many permissions. However, there has been an 11% increase in Facebook logins to apps since then, indicating people are more comfortable using it knowing they have more control over what is being shared. Facebook is pleased, saying the new setup helps apps get what they need while keeping the process fast and non-cumbersome.

Another change is that users have more control over what type of information is shared with friends when friends log into apps. Now, for example, a user could control which photos they share with an app, regardless of whether their friends use the same app.

What Permissions Review Will New Apps Go Through?

If your app or website allows logging in via Facebook, there may or may not be extra review required. If your app or site only asks for basic permissions, such as public profile, email address, and friends list, no additional review is necessary. If your app or site wants more than this, however, permissions must be reviewed by Facebook. So far Facebook has reviewed more than 40,000 apps for requesting additional permissions. The question to ask is, “How much information is reasonable for an app to ask when users log in through Facebook?”

Don’t Ask for Too Much Information Up Front

Facebook login is a great way to capture tons of detailed customer information, however, it’s important to be careful with how much information you ask right away. As mentioned above, reviews requests for information beyond the basics could create some challenges. For instance, if you’re asking customers for more information than they’re comfortable giving, they will opt out of using the social login and potentially dismiss your website altogether. Rule of thumb, be responsible when requesting permissions and only request for information that’s absolutely necessary for your app or website to function. You can always request more when the need arises.

It’s important to ensure that the information you’re requesting from your customers is essential to optimize their customer experience and improving your marketing strategy. Nearly three-quarters of consumers want to interact with  companies that customize the shopping experience through personal information, as long as they don’t ask for too much personal data. Almost 85% of consumers say they have abandoned registrations or worse, shopping carts, because they felt like sites were asking for too much personal information.

Besides keeping information requests simple and reasonable, businesses should tell users how the information will and will not be used. Providing them this information makes consumers more comfortable creating accounts or logging in via social media. It is also wise for businesses to ensure that their terms of service and privacy policies are easy to find from login and registration screens for the people who want that information.

Asking for Detail, Then Not Customizing User Experience Alienates Users

It’s important that brands follow through and make use of the information they ask for. Customers will be disappointed if they provide personal information and discover that their experience on the brand’s website is not customized. If a customer doesn’t think a site is making appropriate use of their data, they have no incentive to continue giving up access to profile data.

Additionally, when consumers are targeted with generic messages despite handing over personal information via social login, they tend to unsubscribe to mailing lists and ignore future communications. However, tailored marketing communications, customized site content, product recommendations, and deals, such as birthday coupons, are welcomed by consumers when they allow access to their personal information.

Logging into 3rd party application or website using social media profile is widespread, and people are becoming more comfortable with it as long as they have control over what information is shared. To make social login work best, only ask for necessary information that will benefit you and your customers, which will, in turn, be used to personalize the customer experience.

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