Social Logins are an interesting proposition. They are good for online businesses who adopt them, but also good for users who use them. As such, they are one of those uniquely positioned entities. That said, not everyone will approve of their use, due to the consistent threat of data leakage and invasion. For those unfamiliar with 'Social Logins', you are only unfamiliar with their name. It is almost guaranteed that you have come into contact with them when online. In short, they are a method of logging into a website that you have not signed up with before. Typically, when landing on a new site you are presented with a couple of options. 'Sign in' or 'Sign up' or 'Sign up with…'. This is a social login. By far the most common and widely used of the social logins is "Sign up with Facebook". That said, with the growing emergence of social media sites, you can now find social logins available with Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo and a few others.
Janrain is an organization who monitor social login usage and trends, and they have just published their latest report on the subject. This report looks at how social logins have been used in Q4 of 2014 and makes for some interesting reading. The main headline is that in spite of Facebook's dominance in this sector, it looks like Google is growing strong and catching up. Overall, in Q4 Facebook's social login market share stood at 43% which was 3% down on the previous quarter. In contrast, Google's social login market share rose 6% from 34% up to 40% for the same period. Effectively resulting in only a 3% difference between the two giants. That is the big overall picture. The more detailed picture though is slightly more revealing.
In spite of Facebook losing some ground to Google over the last quarter, they do still reign top in every measurable aspect. That said, trends of change are emerging. Of the sub-markets, it seems music orientated sites were where Google made the most ground with a 12% share rise (16% up to 28%) compared to an 8% drop for Facebook (although they still remained with over 50% overall). Likewise, Google also saw a significant jump in login-share on consumer brand sites with their share increasing by 7% (31% up to 28%) while Facebook declined by 3% (down from 52% to 49%). That said, Facebook remained significantly ahead in entertainment and gaming sites (their biggest market share ownership) as well as media social sites and retail sites, with Google struggling to make any major gains in any of these markets.
It is lastly worth noting, that although the trends are interesting, they do only represent a quarterly period and are subject to constant change, seasonal fluctuations and the likes. Not to mention 2015 is going to see some major swings in both directions due to the change of protocol being used by both Facebook and Google. Facebook plans to implement a new app version on March 1st while Google is planning to do away with their Google sign-in process altogether and replacing it with a new Google+ sign-in process. Basically swapping the blue 'Sign up with Google' button for the red 'Sign up with Google+' button (like in the image above). Which social login do you use most? Let us know.