The App Marketer’s Guide to Social Logins

The App Marketer’s Guide to Social Logins

You’ve probably noticed dozens of apps having options like ”Login with Facebook” or “Signup with Twitter”

And you’ve probably asked the same questions we’ve asked – How effective is this strategy? What are the options? How do I set it up? Is it that much more effective than email logins? What are the downsides?

Well today we are going to answer your burning questions. We are delving into social logins and giving you a comprehensive overview of what they are, the impact they could have on your app and the tools you need to implement them. Our aim is to help you discover if they are the right strategy for your app and in turn, increase your conversions.

Why Social Logins?

Here’s an interesting stat for you – 86% of people say that they are bothered when they have to set up new accounts on websites.

That’s a scary fact, right?

It means the signup page for your app is annoying your new users. Instead of being excited to try your product, they are rolling their eyes and thinking “Yesh, not this again!”

You know that has to be wreaking havoc on your conversion rate.

To overcome people’s growing password fatigue businesses are quickly catching on by incorporating social into their signup process.

social loginsSocial logins over the past few years have become all the rage and it’s obvious to see why they are great for customers. One click of a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn button and they are in, using your product without having information to fill out or a password to remember. It solves the problem.

If we take a look at this case study from Forbes, we can see what a positive effect social logins can have on conversion rates.

Like so many other apps and sites, they were trying to increase new user registrations, build a better user experience and make the process more fluid for new signups. To do this, they decided to employ social logins.

social loginAllowing customers to skip the traditional signup process and just click their preferred social network made an enormous impact. Forbes saw conversions increase by 100% with 67% of the new users registering through social.

And this seems to be a common occurrence across apps and businesses that incorporate it. Users enjoy the simplicity and ease that comes with social logins. There is no doubt about its effect on conversion rates.


Social logins increase conversions and provide a better users experience. That’s great, it’s vitally important. But they also go one step further, they provide data.

One of the major hindrances of the traditional signup process is the lack of data that could be collected. You can only have access to the information users provided to you during the onboarding process and their activity on your site. And although this is valuable data, it’s limited and you really are just scratching the surface.

With social logins, you are expanding your data exponentially. Right now, social networks are probably one of the best resources for customer data. No one knows more about their users than Facebook and you could tap into this.

social logins dataYou are no longer just collecting the basics like name and email, instead you can learn insights into your users demographics, their interests, behaviors and make more insightful decisions for your app.

Not only are you collecting more data, it’s also far more reliable. Unsurprisingly many people are trepidatious about handing over their information to a new app. While others appear to just be careless about the information they give you as a shockingly high 88% of users admit entering incorrect or incomplete data in registration forms.

Although it’s not guaranteed to be perfect, the data a user has with Facebook is generally more likely to be more accurate than the data they might be willing to share with your app during their first encounter.

This extra data is good for your analytics and insights, but it can also help make your welcome emails more targeted and personalised. We discuss how to use this data in more depth in our free eBook on optimizing welcome emails.

Some Use Cases: Apps using social logins

The number of apps using social logins is growing at a massive rate. Even Mark Zuckerberg boasted that impressively 80% of the top grossing apps in the US right now have a Facebook login option.

Even though, it seems like so many are embracing social logins, it appears some apps are doing a little better than others. They are adding little flourishes that encourage social sign up and, therefore increase conversions.

skyscanner social logins

Skyscanner – Give Users a Reason Why

First, it’s Skyscanner. Once a user downloads their app, they begin the onboarding process. They are given the option to sign-up through social or email. But cleverly, the advantages of social are pointed out as they say “It’s quicker and easier with Facebook or Google+”.

It makes it a much more attractive option as users know they will be cutting corners if they choose social over traditional signup.

tripadvisor social login

Tripadvisor – If Non-Social is Less Desirable, Make it Less Obvious

TripAdvisor also expertly push social logins with their users when downloading their app. With them social login takes front and centre as users have the option of Facebook or Google signup. It’s big and conspicuously done to optimize the number of users clicking this option.

Interestingly, they still offer email signup but it’s placed in the corner and it’s very unassuming and doesn’t invite a user to click on it.

New social login farmville

Farmville – Incentives Help

Farmville Harvest Swap are an awesome example of what a gaming app can do to encourage social logins. They give users an extra push by offering an incentive for connecting through Facebook.

The Downsides

Although social logins seem to be a no-brainer win for your app, the fact is they are not infallible. And they do have some drawbacks, albeit pretty minor and not widely applicable.

MailChimp gave an intriguing account of their relationship with using social login with their app. Like so many other businesses, they noticed the substantial number of people (340,591 to be exact) who would fail to log into their accounts when returning. So they turned to social logins as they thought they would be essential to improving their “depressing” failure rate.

social-login mail chimpAll did not go to plan though. The CEO Ben Chestnut objected and even said ”I’m extremely repulsed by all the buttons and I want to restore simplicity.” It clashed with his view of the company.

They also found the results underwhelming. Users of the app didn’t flock to use the social login. Only 3.4% of users were choosing them. And after some meticulous research they found a change in copywriting and and better error handling made much more of an impact.

MailChimp compellingly also dissected some other problems they found with social logins. They felt uncomfortable with the security being in someone else’s hands. While also realising they didn’t actually have any of their users information. It was all held in another account that they had no control over and could easily be deleted.

I also wonder if their target user and choice of networks had an impact here. If you have people using Mailchimp for work and to collaborate with teams, do they want to login with their personal social accounts? Possibly not.

In a B2B scenario, social logins might be less compelling, or at least Google+ and Linkedin might work better than Facebook and Twitter. But for consumer apps the advantages are obvious.

Of course, this was just MailChimp’s experience. This won’t predict what may or may not work for you. But it’s important to note that they tested it and discovered if it worked for them. And you should too.


If you are looking to try social logins for your apps, here are they guys that could help you:



Janrain allows you to easily implement social login for your app. They offer support for over 30 social networks across all platforms and offer a fully customizable experience. You can also collect rich data and build an in depth customer profile.



Gigya ensures that you can use social login to increase user registration. They will help you maximise mobile acquisitions and collect valuable data so that you can build a personalized user experience.

What should you do?

As you can probably tell social logins can be downright awesome at encouraging users to convert but they also have their drawbacks too. And like everything with your app, it’s up to you to find out if they will work for you and your audience.

As always test, test, test and monitor the impact it has on your apps conversion rate so that you can get your app performing at it’s highest ability.