Commentary

Social Sharing Trends

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, finds a recent study by Janrain,  Combined, these networks boast over 1.5 billion accounts. 

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Secure social login can be used to speed up registration on sites across the web, says the report. According to an analysis by Janrain of online users across 365,000 websites of identities people prefer both for sign-in and content sharing, Facebook is the most popular option at 42% of online users, though a majority use a different social identity, such as Google, Yahoo! or Twitter. Facebook’s share of social logins has increased over the past two years, mostly at the expense of Google. 

Janrain Social Login and Social Sharing Trend Data (% of Online Social Media Users; Q3 2011)

Social Media

Q4 - 2009

Q1 - 2010

Q2 - 2010

Q4 - 2010

Q1 - 2011

Q2 - 2011

Q3 - 2011

Facebook

27%

23%

24%

27%

35%

39%

42%

Google

37%

39%

38%

38%

31%

30%

29%

Yahoo!

11%

12%

14%

14%

13%

12%

11%

Twitter

6%

6%

5%

7%

7%

8%

8%

Windows Live

4%

5%

5%

6%

6%

5%

4%

Other

14%

15%

14%

8%

8%

6%

5%

Source: Janrain, November 2011

 A sampling of sites in some industry verticals to measure trends in consumer login preferences shows that, while the overall story arc is similar, there are disparate preferences within each vertical.

Facebook’s popularity for social login on eCommerce websites has plateaued at a shade less than 50% for the past four quarters.  Its popularity can be partially explained by the explosion of social commerce during the past year. 

Increasingly, retailers are offering social shopping experiences on their eCommerce sites that leverage a consumer’s Facebook social graph.  The report says that the opportunity to incorporate friends into the online shopping experience will continue to influence the proclivity to choose Facebook when registering on retail sites.  Yahoo!’s share of social logins on retail sites has plummeted since 2009, mostly at the expense of Google and Facebook.

Social Site Preference for Retail Shopping (% of Online Social Media Users)

 

Q1 - 2010

Q2 - 2010

Q4 - 2010

Q1 - 2011

Q2 - 2011

Q3 - 2011

Facebook

39%

45%

47%

50%

49%

49%

Google

22%

21%

21%

22%

24%

29%

Yahoo!

26%

23%

20%

16%

17%

12%

Windows Live

5%

3%

5%

4%

5%

5%

AOL

6%

4%

5%

5%

3%

2%

Twitter

3%

4%

3%

3%

2%

3%

Source: Janrain, November 2011

 On media websites, Yahoo! and Google are running strong as the second and third most popular providers.  Despite a modest decline over the past two quarters, Yahoo! continues to perform best in this vertical.

Social Site Preference for Media Provider (% of Online Social Media Users)

 

Q4 - 2009

Q1 - 2010

Q4 - 2010

Q1 - 2011

Q2 - 2011

Q3 - 2011

Facebook

32%

31%

38%

39%

43%

43%

Google

22%

21%

21%

21%

21%

19%

Yahoo!

26%

27%

25%

24%

20%

19%

Twitter

6%

4%

5%

5%

5%

6%

AOL

3%

8%

6%

5%

5%

4%

Other

12%

9%

6%

6%

6%

9%

Source: Janrain, November 2011

 On mobile applications, Facebook and Google lead in popularity, followed by Yahoo! and Twitter. 

Preferred Social Networks For Mobile Login (% of Online Social Media Users)

 

Q3 – 2011

Facebook

37%

Google

37%

Yahoo!

12%

Twitter

10%

Other

4%

Source: Janrain, November 2011

People are sharing comments, purchases, reviews and other content from the web to their social networks more than ever, says the report. Facebook and Twitter are far and away the most popular sharing destinations, but Yahoo!, LinkedIn and MySpace maintain preference on niche sites that are catered to their audience (B2B sites for LinkedIn and music sites for MySpace). 

Preferred Social Networks For Web Content Sharing (% of Online Social Media Users)

 

Q3 - 2011

Facebook

54%

Twitter

34%

Yahoo!

7%

LinkedIn

2%

MySpace

2%

Source: Janrain, November 2011

 Social login opens the door to collecting a rich amount of profile data from a user’s social network account. Each social network provides a different set of profile data on their users, which can help speed registration or enable more data-driven marketing and ROI from personalization and improved segmentation. A look at the user profile data contained within a social profile that users can choose to share with your site:

Available Social Profile Data Within A Site For Sharing (X=Available)

 

Email

Name

Location

Birth date

Gender

Photo

Interests

SocialSharing

Facebook

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Google

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

X

Yahoo!

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

LinkedIn

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

X

Myspace

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Source: Janrain, November 2011

The report concludes by noting thatsocial login helps solve the challenge of how marketers may collect more accurate data on users without sacrificing registration conversion rates. Social login shortens the registration process to a single click and gives marketers instant access to rich demographic, psychographic and social graph data on users which can be leveraged for content personalization or product recommendations and more tailored segmentation and targeting.

 For additional information from Janrain, please go here.

 

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