It’s been five years since Facebook Login (formerly Facebook Connect) was released to developers in Summer 2008, and websites and products everywhere have adopted Facebook’s social sign-in.
The concept of Facebook Login is no longer foreign to website visitors. Statistics show that:
- 87% of visitors are familiar with social sign-in
- 54% of visitors may leave a website if asked to register in the traditional way (filling out a form).
Users understand they benefit from a quick and simple registration process and account activation, and with that Facebook Login has become a new norm.
Product Managers and Growth Hackers are also big fans of Facebook Login - they jump for joy as their registration conversions and user engagement metrics skyrocket.
- Convince & Convert’s Jay Baer stated that social login can boost conversions by as much as 50%.
- Facebook itself reports that websites using Facebook Login have seen a 30% - 200% growth in registrations, and a 15% - 100% growth in page views.
Open Graph = Opportunity!
Needless to say, with all the user data available through Facebook Login, there is a tremendous opportunity to enhance the user’s product experience and extract some very valuable data. Still, developers seem to be hesitant to fully tap into the power of Facebook’s Open Graph.
- Of the top 150 websites that have adopted Facebook Login, surprisingly only TWO (1.3%) ask for access to a user’s sharing permissions
- Instead the focus is on form filling (email address, birthday, current city) or simple login.
One could debate the psychological reasons for the lack of Open Graph adoption (Too aggressive? Too “spammy”?), but the bottom line is that there is a tremendous opportunity for developers to get creative with their Facebook Login implementation.
Products have access to high-quality user data and invaluable publishing permissions, and when implemented correctly the results are beneficial to both the user and the product.
That's a Win-Win!
Permissions: The “Moment of Truth”
Facebook’s research shows that “apps that ask for more than six permissions...experience a significant drop off in the number of completed logins.” So how do we strategize our permissions?
Here is the breakdown of permissions options straight from the Facebook Login API documentation:
When someone connects with an app using Facebook Login, the app can access their public profile and friend list — the pieces of information that are visible to everyone.
So to start, Facebook Login gives us the following public data from the user:
- id name
- Other public information (profile pic, cover photo, friend list)
This is a great start for profile activation - with one or two clicks, I’ve entered my user into my product database and completed her profile - including name, gender, age, location, and a profile picture.
This also grants us access to the user’s network, which is a vital piece for any virality-specific actions.
Each other piece of information that someone adds to their Facebook profile is secured behind permissions, and there are several different categories of permissions used:
- Email permissions
- Extended profile properties secure profile information beyond the data included in a person's public profile.
- Extended permissions secure the most sensitive profile information and the ability to publish on behalf of people.
- Open Graph permissions secure any Open Graph data stored on someone's profile.
- Page permissions secure activity for any Facebook pages the person using your app administers.
Under the assumption that two vital permission requests will be email and publishing actions, it is clear that you must be very selective with any further permissions.
Regardless of your product need, the available data is plentiful:
Want to “Go Viral”? Then Publish!
When a product has an opportunity to automatically share a user’s activity via "publish_actions", the user now becomes an additional social marketer for the product.
And as we all can acknowledge, products whose users become their marketers are very likely to “go viral” since they bring free targeted inbound traffic with a higher likelihood to convert due to "social proof".
The Open Graph is optimized for the following categories of products:
Four perfect examples of products capitalizing on Open Graph are:
1. Nike+ Running
3. Washington Post News Reader
Open Graph auto-posting is also ideal for sharing game achievements - usually when a new level is reached or a badge is earned, however it can also be for basic game actions (“usergamesactivity”). The most popular example of this is:
Tell Me About It! (Literally)
Though direct messaging in Facebook is not nearly as common as the aforementioned “post to wall,” when done correctly they are even more powerful since they appear in a user’s Facebook notifications.
Here are 3 great examples of Inbox Messaging within Facebook:
1. Host Committee
Product Managers and Growth Hackers can definitely use Facebook Login to your advantage. As long as your strategy is tactful and providing value to the user with each requested permission and message you send, your product will have a tremendous advantage over the competition.
So go be creative and grow those products!