Many websites include Facebook integrations in hopes of offering quick sharing or personalization that can increase referral traffic, conversions, and page views. 56% of users who view a Facebook authentication step will accept it, according to a new study by Sociable Labs. That means users aren’t actually as scared of the Facebook authorization flow’s privacy implications as some might assume. The real hurdle is getting users to click the Facebook integration buttons in the first place.
[Update: Sociable Labs initially cited that 5% of users click Facebook integration buttons. Since publishing, the company told me that this was anecdotal data that was not part of its formal study, and only looked at the click through rate of one type of Facebook integration. I apologize for any confusion this caused, and this study and article should not be incorrectly used to dissuade websites from adding Facebook integrations.
We've received reports from Gigya and other developers that as high as 40% of a website's visitors use Facebook login and other integrations. The article has been edited to reflect this information.]
As long as websites don’t disrupt their design with these buttons or hinge their entire experience on opt-in user data, there’s little harm and a lot of good that can come from Facebook integrations. They can help direct users to relevant products or content that match their interests or that have been viewed by friends.
To conduct the study, social web integration developer Sociable Labs analyzed 24 million ecommerce site visits and 1.2 million views of the Facebook authentication flow across 42 different social applications of its clients. The majority of sites see between 50% and 66% of visitors opting in to personalization if they click through to see the prompt shown below. Additional findings include that asking for fewer data types increased the opt in rate, and that users sourced via search engine optimization and marketing opted in less often.
Last month, Sociable Labs shared data with us indicating that over 50% of ecommerce site visitors are already logged into Facebook. This means that social plugins such as the Like button that don’t require user permissions to function are a safe bet for websites.
But few people want to click a random “Facebook Login” button with no idea of what they’re getting. If sites want the benefits of learning a user’s biographical information, location, interests, and other data, they must expend real estate to say why users should opt in. A little note that “By logging in we’ll be able to suggest relevant products and deals from our huge catalog” goes a long way.