Starting today, retailers might not learn as much about consumers who sign into their sites and apps with their Facebook credentials. That’s because the social network planned to start today automatically upgrading its Facebook Login tool to give users more control over information they share with apps.
The new login tool lets consumers select the information they share with the app. For instance, an app might request a consumer’s phone number and email address when she signs in with her Facebook login, but the shopper can choose to only share her email address.
Facebook announced the change in April 2014 at its F8 user conference. Since then, many retailers have upgraded the login tool and undergone a login review process that lets Facebook vet the app to ensure consumers feel in control of how the app is using their data by requesting only the permissions needed by the app.
Because retailers have to justify the information they gather while using a Facebook login, the social network has found that, on average, apps using the new Facebook login tool request half the permissions than apps using the previous version of login. While retailers can still request access to consumers’ information such as a user’s public profile, address, email address, friend list and likes, it has to demonstrate how that information is useful, for instance, by enabling a site to tailor its product recommendations to a shopper’s interests.
However, the conversion rate for brands using the new tool is 11 percentage points higher than those using the old tool, Facebook says. The social network did not provide the specific conversion rates.
The tool is helping retailers boost sales because it makes the buying process easier, says Marla Hay, senior product manager for Janrain, a provider of social media login technology.
“It ensures that social login continues to be a positive and valuable experience for both end users and app owners,” she says. “We have always advised clients, retail and otherwise, that the best practice for requesting customer data is to only ask for information that makes sense to the customer and that you intend to use to improve their experience. Facebook’s login changes center around exactly that.”
Moreover, it might increase the number of consumers who use Facebook to log into retail sites because it gives them more control, she says. “Previously, if a user was uncomfortable with the amount or type of data requested by an application, their only recourse was to decline to sign in with that application,” she says. “Now the user has the ability to opt out of sharing data beyond the basic profile. This is a benefit for retail clients, because they don’t risk turning the user off to sign-in and registration.”Favorite