Surprise, surprise: the number one social login preference for Q2 2011 was Facebook, according to data from social SaaS company Janrain.
It’s been awhile now since you’ve been required to fill in all your personal contact information, pick a username and password, etc., just to register for a new website or mobile service. These days, many users opt to simply connect via an already-logged in account, like Facebook or Google.
The Janrain report finds that 39 percent of these logins are happening through Facebook and 30 percent through Google.
Don’t think that Google+ has anything to do with Google’s large piece of the pie, though. In fact, the company’s 30 percent share is actually one percent smaller than the share recorded by Janrain in its report from April, a full two months before the launch of Google+. In that quarter, Q1 2011, Facebook actually surpassed Google as the leading social login preference.
Similarly to Google, Yahoo and Windows Live both dropped by one percent, with social media darlings Facebook and Twitter seeing small increases in their shares.
For publishers and site owners, all this data goes to prove is that one can’t rely entirely on any single social network as the preferred login account for users, since there is no clear majority. Many websites, I’ve noticed, tend to default to Facebook and Twitter, in spite of the fact that Twitter commands a mere eight percent of total social logins. The smart, versatile publisher would do well to provide many entry points, including Google and Facebook as the most likely candidates.
For Google and Facebook, on the other hand, this data illustrates just how deep the war over social networking users goes. This is why Google+ is such an important project for Google.
These days, social networks are not just destinations where you post silly status updates, post photos and share intriguing links with family and friends. They have actually become transferable online identities you take with you as you journey across the Web. Without even being on the Facebook site, for example, you can login, comment, share and perform any number of actions on third-party sites, all through your Facebook account.
This worries Google because it gives Facebook a lot of leverage in facilitating the user’s online experience, from Web to mobile. It will be interesting to see how social login data evolves over the next quarter, as Google+ either thrives or dies.