On logging in via Facebook

Reported by the Telegraph today:

Those applying via computer or mobile phone for services ranging from tax credits, fishing licences and passports will be asked to choose from a list of familiar log-ins to prove their identity… Under the proposals, members of the public will be able to use log-ins from “trusted” organisations, chosen to appeal to as wide a demographic as possible, to access Government services grouped together on a single website called Gov.uk… A user logging onto the site by phone would be asked to choose to select from a logo from one of the trusted brands, such as Facebook.

Two days ago, on the blog of email newsletter service MailChimp:

[We were convinced] that adding social login buttons to our app were essential to improving our depressing failure rate… I was shocked to see that just 3.4% of the people that visited the login page actually used Facebook or Twitter to log in.

Even a 3.4% drop in failures is worth having them there, right? Maybe not… Do you want to have your users’ login credentials stored in a third-party service? Do you want your brand closely associated with other brands, over which you have no control? Do you want to add additional confusion about login methods on your app? Is it worth it? Nope, it’s not to us.

Of course, the MailChimp position is slightly undermined by the use, immediately below this very blog post, of ‘Sign in with Facebook’ and ‘Sign in with Twitter’ buttons on their comment form. They argue in the comment thread that commenting is a very different user scenario; and it’s a view I have some sympathy with.

One thought on “On logging in via Facebook”

  1. Aren’t the usage cases really different as well? Someone logging into Mail Chimp is likely to be a business or organisational user with an email account (probably the hub of their productivity). Whereas a 36 year old applying for a fishing license would probably be quite happy to use Facebook to sign in ?

    I don’t disagree with testing or rationalising sign in process and I suspect very few people really want B2B information in Facebook but where the end point is a consumer, I don’t see any harm in making sign-in easier.

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