The social media landscape is fragmented. People use Facebook to interact with friends and family, Twitter to follow influencers and share opinions, LinkedIn for their professional network, and Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail to communicate directly with contacts. Combined, these networks boast over 1.5 billion accounts.
Coupled with increasing reluctance from consumers to maintain distinct usernames and passwords on each frequently visited site, brands are rapidly seeking ways to leverage social network identities within their own properties. Through a secure process known as social login, these identities can be used to speed up registration on sites across the web. But which identities do people prefer both for sign-in and content sharing?
Each quarter, we seek to answer these questions by analyzing social login and social sharing preferences for online users across the 365,000 websites using Janrain Engage.
When it comes to social login, people want choice. While Facebook is the most popular option at 45 percent, a majority would rather use a different social identity, such as Google, Yahoo, or Twitter.
Facebook's share of social logins has increased steadily over the past two years. While Google's share declined moderately during the first three quarters of 2011, don't assume that portends its decline in influence. Overall preference for Google has increased 2 percent since Q4 2011, and with Google+ rapidly scaling users and adoption, it will be interesting to see if it can eventually overtake Facebook again in terms of social login popularity.
As with prior reports, we have taken a sampling of sites in four industry verticals to measure trends in consumer login preferences. While the overall story arc is similar, there are disparate preferences within each vertical that merit consideration.