Why ask “or”, when you can ask “and” ?
Today there are many different social logins. Some of the biggest ones are:
- Facebook social login
- Google Plus login
- LinkedIn social login
- Twitter social login
- Microsoft social login
They all work well, and are based on the same underlying technlogy (OAuth2).
But which ones should you prioritize? And which one is the most important?
There are two important questions to cover first:
- Why are we using them in the first place?
- Can we use the data for our profiles?
For 1), the answer is pretty clear: to ease the login process. We want our users to spend less time fiddling with log in, and just get started right away. Most people are logged in with Facebook by default, and by offering a social login such as Facebook, you save them a lot of time.
In addition it also solves more issues. Reset password functionality? You outsource that to Facebook.
But how do we ease it? That depends on the site and the context, which we will cover in a moment. This is a key question to solve the original question: which ones to use?
For 2) we have to consider the data. For some cases we just want the user to log in easily, but for some websites we want their awesome data. An example is a finance startup I have as a customer: they want as much data as possible from the customer. By using Facebook login, we can simply ask for some extra data, and know more about our users, which is great. At a different customer, we use LinkedIn login to ask for information about job titles and such.
To answer which logins to use, we have to consider context
Different websites and systems require different types of login.
If you run a website that is full of jokes and memes, a LinkedIn login obviously doesn’t make sense. In this case Facebook makes the most sense. Just like 9Gag does:
If you run a corporate platform mostly for business clients, LinkedIn probably makes more sense:
In some cases, even a niche login makes sense. StackExchange (StackOverflow.com) runs the biggest community for developers. They have implemented their own social login, and most developers have such a login.
Some websites would probably benefit from using their login, because the context makes sense.
So to answer this question, it really comes down to:
What kind of login would make sense? What services will your users have?
For some communities it might be Facebook. For some it might be Twitter. For some Google. For some it might be a niche one.
But why not implement all?
That is also an option!
But it’s not that simple, as there are some challenges attached to it. Besides the fact that it costs money and time to implement the login, they also change interface now and then. That means you have to spend time maintaining it, as it might change how it works now and then.
In addition, it makes testing the website more complex. For each time you have to test if everything works, you also have to do everything, but the only difference is you logged in with each social login.
So while you can implement it, it’s simply not always practical.