Facebook and Google have benefited from the social login button, which allows consumers to log in to other websites and apps using their social media accounts. While app makers have found the tactic useful as users are spared the hassle of signing up, Facebook and Google+ use the information to track what their users do on the Internet. In reaction to users’ decreasing interest in social logins, both companies are shifting tactics to allow for more anonymity.
“A few years ago, there was a frenzy, but the interest has peaked,” says Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali. “There’s the fear of, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to click something and God knows what’s going to show up on my Facebook wall.'”
Forrester surveyed 66 large and midsize companies to find that only 17 percent use social login buttons and over 50 percent have no intention of using the tactic in the future.
Yahoo, Amazon and Twitter have attempted the same tactic, with less successful results.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “Establishing digital identity is increasingly urgent as screens shrink, passwords multiply, and businesses seek ways to reach people on their smartphones and to recommend products based on users’ habits.”
In response to privacy concerns, Facebook recently announced that it would offer anonymous logins with the choice of which data to share. Meanwhile, amid signs of lacking popularity, the head of Google’s social division has stepped down.
“I don’t want everyone in my social network to know what I’m shopping for,” explained Rebecca Silliman, who works for an e-commerce company. “I feel like every time I give permission, I’m probably giving away more than I’m ultimately comfortable with.”