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The Risk & Reward of Social Sign-In

Posted on 6.09.2014

Yahoo recently announced plans to phase out Google and Facebook-based sign-in from its network of services, and photo storage service Flickr will be one of the first of the companies' brands to make the switch.

Third-party social login has been a highly useful feature for digital brands who long struggled with convincing users to sign up or sign in to their services. By enabling website or app visitors to use their existing credentials from popular services including Facebook and Google, brands (including merchants, publishers and service providers) were able to lower a major hurdle to getting users into and through the conversion channel faster. But there are drawbacks to social sign-in too and they haven't gone unnoticed.

The issue for many brands using social sign-in is that they are essentially giving away their user data to a third-party provider. While it's certainly convenient for users and the reward for publishers that implement the technology is significant (increased user numbers), the risk of actually helping out your competitors is too much to ignore... at least for Yahoo.

As an Internet professional, is social sign-in rewarding or too risky? Share what you see as its advantages and disadvantages by commenting below.


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