Google+ Social Sign-In Has Pros, Cons
Google+ Sign-In offers tighter mobile integration and additional controls. But will it allay user fears?
Social login services enable users to register for and interact with sites and services using a preferred social network account, such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. But while such services make authentication relatively quick and easy, not all users are comfortable using them.
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Gigya conducted a survey of 2,600 people and found that 53% have logged in to a website or mobile application using social login. Survey respondents who had used social login services cited username/password fatigue, streamlined registration and social syndication as the three top benefits. Survey respondents who had not used social login services cited data transfer, social posting concerns and uncertainty of data usage as the top three factors for skipping a social login option when signing in to a website or mobile application. Google+ Sign-In Service may not eliminate those fears, but it could help allay them.
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Whether they are building apps for the Web or for iOS or Android, developers can now enable users to sign in to an app with their Google credentials, including their Google+ info. "It's simple, it's secure and it prohibits social spam," said Seth Sternberg, director of product management, Google+, in a blog post.
With lots of social login options already out there, Sternberg said, Google is focusing on several key principles "to make things awesome for users." No. 1 on the list is simplicity and security, with Google+ Sign-In carrying over, among other things, Google's two-step verification option (user name and password, plus a numeric code that Google sends by text or voice call).
Google+ Sign-in also provides tighter integration with mobile. For example, Android users who log in to a site with Google+ Sign-in can download the site's mobile app with just one click. That's one advantage Google+ Sign-In has over Facebook Connect and other social sign-in mechanisms. Another is the ability to focus what you share and with whom -- Google+'s Circles model carries over, enabling users to avoid what Google calls "frictionless updates."
Developers can get more information here. Google is also making available Google+ Platform Insights, analytics tools that provide organizations with such data as how many users have logged into an app and how they are using it.
What do you think? Does Google+ Sign-In sound unique, or just like all the other social login platforms out there? Do you think Google+ Sign-In will help Google+ shed the "ghost town" image some would say it has? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.
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