Saturday, November 22, 2014

Should Software Developers
Offer Social Authentication?

Social authentication is catching on. Seventy-seven percent of adult US Internet users have created online accounts by using their social identities rather than creating new userid/password combinations. A poll taken by OnePoll and Gigya (as reported in the October 17, 2014 issue of Processor Magazine) shows that consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with this process.

The social authentication process is also known as "bring your own identity" or BYOID. Don't confuse BYOID with bring your own device (BYOD), the increasingly popular practice of employees bringing their personal notebooks, tablets, and smartphones to work.

According to the article, the main reasons that users like being able to create accounts and log into them by using their existing social networking information are

  • It's easier to point to a social networking account than to fill in a new registration form.
  • Few users look forward to creating - and remembering - more userids and passwords.
  • BYOID makes it easier to share information with colleagues on the social networks.
  • Users feel that their data will be safer if they securely link to information on their social media site.

Software developers need to be aware of this new BYOID trend. If the difference between logging into your site (versus logging into a competitor's site) is that they offer the convenience of BYOID and you don't, then you could lose customers, traffic, and sales.

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