What Do You Think Of Social Logins? [MakeUseOf Poll]

polls   What Do You Think Of Social Logins? [MakeUseOf Poll]Last week we asked you if you’re using Gmail’s new compose experience. All in all, while many of the voters aren’t completely sure about it yet, it seems that the vast majority decided to go a certain way when it comes to the new compose. Which way do you think it is? Read on to find out.

Out of 459 votes in total, 43% said they’re using the new compose and love it, 29% are using it but are still not sure about it, 21% are not using it and do not intend to until Google forces them, 5% said they’re not using it but actually don’t mind it that much, and only 2% of the voters said they don’t use Gmail. And that’s saying something!

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

So as you can see, while there’s no real consensus as to how good the new compose is, almost 75% of the readers who voted are using it. I guess Google’s doing something right, at least in the way it’s persuading us to try the new feature. Be sure to read last week’s best comment by Julie Smith, who won 150 points for her comment! She doesn’t like the new compose, and she made it very clear why that is.

poll results dec 8   What Do You Think Of Social Logins? [MakeUseOf Poll]

This week’s poll question is: What Do You Think Of Social Logins?

Want to make some extra MakeUseOf reward points? The most useful comment on the poll will be awarded 150 points!

It started with Facebook logins, and it’s now spread far beyond that. Social logins are everywhere, including right here on MakeUseOf, and they’re as controversial as they are common. While there’s no doubt that social logins are much easier for both the users and the website they log in to, not everyone appreciates the need to use a social account or a Google account to log in to an unrelated website. While most websites, including MakeUseOf, don’t access your personal information and don’t store it, you’re never sure what will happen when dealing with smaller websites. On the one hand, these logins are a great way to log in quickly and effortlessly, and save you from having thousands of accounts and passwords. On the other hand, you might not want to compromise a sensitive account such as Facebook just to log in somewhere. What do you think?

Tell us in the comments why you like or dislike social networks. Specify which networks are OK for social logins, which you don’t like to use, and why.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

71 Comments -

0 votes

Alan Wade

I use them only if I have to. You have already listed the pluses and minuses so I wont repeat them. I prefer the traditional method of joining a website and loging in with a password.
Most people are familiar with password managers so remembering passwords shouldnt be an issue or even a consideration whereas allowing websites access to your personal information in Google+ or FB etc is in my opinion not very good at all.
You state that it saves us from having thousands of accounts and passwords but really, who has thousands of accounts? I have maybe forty logins and dont need to remember any of the passwords as I use Lastpass to logon to the various sites. This allows me to be in control of my accounts and personal information and not the various websites that use social networks to login.
I created an account on Google for websites like MUO with limited information but feel I shouldnt have to do that.

0 votes

Jack Schiff

To MUO is also possible loging in with a password. But it seems the secret.

0 votes

James Bruce

No, its not possible.You can comment without creating an “account” though.

0 votes

Jack Schiff

I’m talking about is that you can create an account is not tied to the “big five” (Ya, Go, Twi, Fa, M$) excuse my english.

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

But you can’t. That’s my point.

0 votes

Anonymous

O’Rly?
Then dear Muo TechGuy please comment:
Q. Which of the five proposed, I tied my new account?
A. nothing
Q.How did I get into my account
A. Use name and password (which by the way MUO sent to me. but i can change it).

0 votes

juan david gil

you do mak a good point about givin up your personal info, but alas i made a twiiter account just so i can give it away safely in this kind of things

0 votes

James Bruce

Who has thousands of passwords?

At current count, I am storing 1253 passwords in 1pass.

0 votes

Alan Wade

1253 is a lot of passwords! If you had a social login for all of them and your social account got hacked, well thats a lot of sites compromised. Whereas with 1253 passwords, if one site is hacked – its just one site!

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

Well, what about if someone hacked my 1pass password?

0 votes

Alan Wade

Its always going to be “Swings and Roundabouts”
What if someone hacked my Lastpass password? Firstly, everything that Lastpass stores is up in the cloud so nothing on my computer. Still no where near bullet proof I know. I change my Lastpass password every two weeks, thats as secure as I want it.
This all swings back to “Why should websites have access to my personal information on a social site and Why should I allow them to fill up my social page with their adverts?”
The truth is, the websites I want to recommend is done by me, not by the website itself.
Back to the security, show me a fool prove system if you can.

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

But now you’re confusing social login with liking a facebook page or something. The two are very distinct. Logging socially doesn’t automatically post updates for you.

You’re right though – there is no foolproof system. In the end, it’s all much the same, which is why these arguments of “well, if facebook were hacked all my other accounts would be hacked too” are so meaningless. That’s not a point you made, but other commenters have.

0 votes

Alan Wade

The entire post is an interesting debate TechGuy. Arguments for and arguments against, I guess we all have are prefered login methods and are very unlikely to want to change our login methods no matter what.

As I said, an interesting and great debate.

0 votes

Jack Schiff

How strange. Most Users MUO, where only the social login, choose the answer “I don’t use them. If I must, I skip that website.”

0 votes

Bill

I just don’t bother logging in. I see what I can see in Guest mode, and anything hidden behind a social media login I ignore.

0 votes

Anonymous

You’re right, Bill. I did not know that you can comment in the guest mode, because i always entered in my account and did not see form for guests.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Yes, you don’t have to log in to interact with MakeUseOf, but you do have to log in if you want to accumulate points and get some rewards. :)

0 votes

Anonymous

..beautiful but angry

0 votes

Michael Greene

I don’t have any social media accounts (other than email), so any website that requires one is an annoying waste of time for me.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Do you have a Google account, though? Would you use it to log into websites? I see you’re logged into MakeUseOf right now, I assume you’re using Google for that.

0 votes

Michael Greene

I do have a Google account, but thats only for email. For everything else that I expect to get spam on I use a Yahoo account that probably has hundreds of spam, newsletters, and other junk emails sent to per day.

0 votes

Paul Girardin

I will not use a service that wants to write Tweets and Facebook messages in my name.

I am the only one that writes, tweets or re-tweets things on my social networks.

If I give my social login to a site and find that they start writing on my behalf, I cancel the permissions and go look elsewhere for the same content, PERIOD!

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

I complete agree with you on that, posting on my behalf is a big fat red line.

0 votes

Emma

In general, I prefer to create separate logins for most of the websites and services I use. However, if it is something I may be using only once or twice, and/or something that won’t hold much of my personal information, I may log in with my (largely dormant) Twitter account. I don’t use my Facebook for any logins, because that one has more important and personal information, and I’d prefer not to spread it around even to trustworthy sites.

0 votes

Jose Paolo Gonzales Otico

I’m not a big fan of using social logins, but if I must, then I will (unless I don’t trust the website). I really do prefer using the traditional method of registering.
It is convenient, and also not. LastPass and other password managers seem to be the accepted, so there’s really no reason why we should ever have to use social logins. Some people also prefer privacy, and it’s somewhat counter-intuitive if we use our social logins, which for the most-part have our full names in plain sight.
It’s a give and take I suppose.

0 votes

Henk

Of course I won’t give out any of my personal Facebook or Twitter data to a third-party website. Never. Ever. What kind of dumbass do they take me for?
If you ask me, all these kinds of attacks on our privacy are completely running out of control.
I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years from now, when you bring in your car for a checkup, the car shop will want to download all your GPS travel data from the past year, telling you they “can serve you better by tuning the car to the kind of use you make of it”. And some clueless people will let them.
It’s not one Big Brother watching you, but rather thousands of Little Brothers each watching you, everywhere, all the time, and crossreferencing their data to profile you.
And people actually do allow this because it’s so “convenient”. Unbelievable.

0 votes

James Bruce

Perhaps you misunderstand social login. We get your name, and sometimes email, and you get the ability to not have another login. It’s not really a lot of “personal information”. Literally just your name and email. Which you would have given us anyway had you registered an account manually.

0 votes

g

Maybe he doesn’t understand, but what about those of us who simply will not subscribe to one the social services in the first instance? Perusing the poll results thus far, I suspect you are losing access to/interaction with most of your more sophisticated readers. I read MUO for the insights and tidbits your writers and editors discover about technology; however, I am relegated to second class status just because I won’t open, e.g. a Facebook account. In case your are wondering why I won’t open a Facebook account, do a search on just MUO and see how many returns you get that refer how to secure you Facebook account from hacking, spamming, phishing etc etc.

But, I like the articles.

Best regards,

A Second Class Follower

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

I understand your hesitation when it comes to Facebook; that’s why you can also use a Microsoft or Google account, which are very much not “social” networks.

(FYI, that Hotmail address you’re posting from is actually a Microsoft account. This can be used to login)

0 votes

g

Pretty funny about the email address; especially since it isn’t real – I entered one from google.mail this time just to be fair. But it does make the point that we are allowed partial participation in MUO, just not the Rewards, even using a bogus email address, because what MUO clearly wants is social media logins. One has to wonder if MUO wouldn’t be better off with legitimate logins, and an opt-in/opt-out system of social media information sharing. 40+% of your audience is a lot of folks to abandon.

More to the point, however, Microsoft and Google as are hungry for user identifiable information as Facebook and the other social media bottom feeders. I guess what likely disturbs many of us is that MUO requires social logins because MUO and the social networks gain by it. Which of course begs the questions: Just what is the quid pro quo for the social media login requirement? What is shared? And why?

Cheers,

g

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

(replying here as we’re at the end of thread)

First off, it’s not a case of “we want social media logins”. What we want is *verified* users, not faceless anonymous comments. Comments with a real name, a real photo, have far more credence and create a stronger sense of community. If we opened up the game system to anonymous users, it would be abused, period. People would make fake accounts, like their own comments, post spam; with social logins, it’s a lot harder to make spam accounts and game the rewards program. We gain value from users who are willing to verify themselves and put a name next to a face.

There is no quid-pro-quo involved. Users get a one-click login; we get a verified user account. Literally, we use the email address, name, and profile picture, though we also have other information about location and other demographics – though god knows how we would actually use that even if we wanted to. We dont get a list of your contact email address to spam them all; the system just gets a list of contact IDs in that network so it can figure out what your friends are doing on site and tell you in the profile widget. There’s no hidden agenda. We don’t post anything without users explicitly clicking share.

0 votes

g

My apologies, it was not my intention to strike a nerve, challenge your business model or cast aspersions. It is an interesting and important debate.

Isn’t it apparent that by the act of verifying a social login with the social network that MUO has conveyed in clear unequivocal terms to the social network provider personally identifiable information about the user beyond name, email address and photo? Eg, likes mildly technical websites? may like/need software? hardware? likes websites that include games?

True, MUO may do nothing with this information (and congratulations for taking that position); however, do you think the social network providers you used to verify the user identification exercise the same restraint? I think not.

Again, apologies for being so forward.

Cheers,

g

PS: I used Yahoo this time, just to be fair.

0 votes

Adam Campbell

I think that it is very convenient. I personally believe that the way we log into websites and our entire internet persona for that matter is changing fundamentally. We started out by having the standard username, password startup. Now we have the ability to login to several websites using social media. I think that the next step will be some sort of universal online presence. Which may sound a little crazy, but, I think that google is definitely trying to accomplish just that with google+.

0 votes

jammie lynn

I don’t use them. If I must, I skip that website.

0 votes

Ashwin Ramesh

Well Social Logins are good in a way if you want to share something instantly. Logging in to MUO using Facebook, for example, makes it a lot easier, not only for the user, but also for sharing it with your friends.
However, for me, I always look at the content and how prominent/useful the websites are and then decide accordingly.

After all, social Logins are meant to make things more social, no? ;)

PS: When it came to using Social Logins here at MakeUseOf, I never had second thoughts :)

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

First of all, thank you, it’s great to hear. :)

Second, I believe most website that utilize social logins don’t actually do it to make things more social per se. After all, you can use your Google or Microsoft accounts if you want. It’s an easy way for both the website and the users to become a verified, logged on user in one click. It’s also easier for the website to implement many times. It usually has nothing to do with wanting to make things more social, as on a social network.

0 votes

Kenice Noel

I don’t use them unless I really have to. The more integrated social networks become, the harder it is to control the level of privacy of your information. I certainly don’t want my activities on websites outside of the social networking sites themselves known to other persons and using social networks to login to such sites do pose a certain level of personal informational privacy concerns.
On the other hand, that can be useful sometimes as it can simplify you not having to go through the registration process but the more you use one account for multiple websites, the possibility exists that if a hacker or an enemy was to get their hands on the login credentials for your social networking site, then they would have access to every other website you used that network to sign up with. It’s a risk I am not willing to take.

0 votes

Thehunting Lion

OKay.. Social login is not a sin. You can use it, IF
1. you are okay to share your activity on that site with your friends and well-wishers on your favorite social network ( even if you are not interested to share, you can always choose among options in privacy settings , not to do so. )
2. you do not want to create new account on every website which asks to do so, and are fed-up of keeping note of whole bunch of new passwords, usernames ( and their corresponding websites) being created by you every now and then.
3. you want make your life simple.. !! ;)

And you may NOT IF

1. you donot care to skip that website which asks for a social login
2. you USE A PASSWORD MANAGER which automatically fills your form anywhere needed. ( like LASTPASS )

0 votes

Douglas Mutay

For me, the social login was a huge step in the login process. I believe we spend a lot of time entering our data to login especially in website that we trust and use often. And using social login has also another good part: avoiding us the time consuming action of creating a new login account for a website. In another line, I am doing web mastering for our church website and have implemented the social login to avoid people provide false data, forget their login information or simply decline to register in the first place. So in whole, for me, it’s really a good time saver.

0 votes

Nilesh Rathi

Social login is a good idea but it was corrupted by mostly Facebook by allowing sites to auto share stuff at one point of time which led to many people’s paranoia. The best option now would some open integrated solution like Mozilla’s Browser sign in.

0 votes

James Howde

It’s a chicken and egg thing that I don’t use social logins because I don’t use social logins.

If I was joining a site like MUO I’d use a low grade password which is easy to remember. I don’t use facebook much, but the password there is a bit more secure and so more difficult to recall. It would actually be slightly more difficult to login via facebook than directly to the site (Or at best exactly the same via a password manager).

I might miss out on some stuff by not using them, but really if a sites insists all their users be on social media it’s very unlikely to have anything that isn’t available elsewhere.

0 votes

Richard

I object to sites that want privileges beyond a simple sign in. I don’t want them notifying my “friends”, posting without my express direction or doing anything else other than providing a sign in. Therefore, I don’t use them and avoid commenting on sites that use them.

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

We never spam friends or post updates without your express action – like clicking on share. Please don’t lump all applications and sites that use social logins under the same abusive category.

0 votes

dragonmouth

“you might not want to compromise a sensitive account such as Facebook”

You ARE kidding, aren’t you??? My personal data would be more secret if I posted it on the front page of NY Times then it is in a Facebook account. The one and only purpose of Facebook is to expose you to the entire universe.

Using a social login is like hanging the keys to your house on a hook next to the front door.

0 votes

Lavender

You mean people under 30 DON’T hang their keys on their front doors for the world to access?!! They still have THAT much sense? Somehow, I doubt that.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

When I wrote that I didn’t mean Facebook was sensitive because of its privacy. No one in his right mind thinks Facebook is in any way private. I meant not wanting to have your account “invaded” but a third-party website, which might access that information, post in your behalf, etc.

Fortunately, many big websites that use social logins only use it as a mean to log you in, and don’t actually use your information.

0 votes

android underground

The small print of Facebook requires that you enter your real name and your real location. Facebook also has plenty of pictures of you, and other info that you don’t want to share with forums and sites like MUO.

So social logins suck. Every psychologist and market researcher knows that honest opinions require anonymity.

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

Personally, I feel like your comment is worth far less because it’s posted behind an anonymous pseudonym and doesn’t have a real photograph associated with it. Studies have shown the the quality of comments increases greatly when people are forced to identify themselves correctly.

0 votes

android underground

Did you change your name into Muo TechGuy at the same place where Kim Dotcom changed his name?

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

Apologies for using my admin account and not my author account.

0 votes

Daniel Thomas Perez

I prefer to not give control of my social networks over just to login. Let me sign in with a user name and password. It gives me a sense of more control and security.

0 votes

Mark Aldrich

I do not like them. I feel they compromise my security. Companies who only use this form of identification can live without my business. Unfortunately, these companies and organizations do not even know they are missing me.

0 votes

Sri Vastav Reddy

simply i use them a LOT :)
with my old useless accounts :P

0 votes

Joel Lee

Social logins are a pain in the butt. I don’t want to link everything I have together. Let me keep my gaming-related activities separate from my professional activities separate from my friends-and-family stuff.

Not to mention the security risk. Putting all of your eggs in one basket has never been a good idea.

0 votes

Anonymous

Don’t use social logins because I don’t use social networks. Had a facebook account a few years ago, but cancelled it after their nth privacy violation. I have Twitter and Google+ accounts, but only look at them once every week or two. I have a hard time understanding where people get the time to follow what’s hot and what’s not on either of these. In any case, I gave each only the bare minimum of info to set up an account.
I think I may have used G+ to login to MUO, but other than that, I have many PWs in LastPass.
I don’t really consider MUO a social network, just a source of information – this may be only about the 3rd or 4th time I have made a comment. I check the MUO emails for useful info (Though they’re getting to be so frequent I don’t look at them all anymore) and download the occasional How-To guide.

0 votes

Mutual of O’Rely

I don’t HAVE a “social media” account. While MUO would get only a snippet of information about me, the S & M site gets an ever clearer picture of my interests and they WILL commercialize on that and they MUST turn it over to the government if asked … and, even if their heart MIGHT be in the right place, they can be forbidden from even alerting you that they have done so.

With gazillions of dollars at stake, they are not about to stick their noses out on your behalf.

I HAD FB & Twitter accounts. FB was a great way of exchanging photos with family and friends from around the world (literally) but they have shown themselves to be untrustworthy … so I have stopped trusting them. I deleted what I could and closed the account. The information will degrade over time … such is the nature of databases.

I haven’t used my two Twitter accounts in nearly two years for the same reason. Our Tweets have been sold to the Library of Congress and are available to researchers for any and all purposes. If you are saying anything, anything at all, a permanent record is being kept that could be turned against you at a later date.

In case you hadn’t noticed, 1984 already came.

I don’t need FB or Twitter or any of the others even knowing what sites I visit. I have a right to privacy and I at least attempt to use it.

0 votes

Achraf Almouloudi

I use them only if there is no “standard” login. Social login is like putting your life on someone’s else control. Just tell me how you would login to a business critical website if you only linked your Facebook and Twitter accounts and they were suddenly suspended or hacked by an evil. Why create trouble for your personal or professional life if you can avoid it. I think social login systems so be simply an add-on to simplify and automate a future login by automatically getting the user in if the connection is authorized or the user may simply click the button. But the website should always keep that “username” and “password” fields on.

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

How would you login to a business normally if your regular (non-social) account was hacked? Same thing.

0 votes

Achraf Almouloudi

Hackers typically tend to try hacking accounts on popular sites rather than user-particular sites. You are more likely to get Facebook or Twitter hacked than your Ifttt account. Simply put.

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

Nope, I disagree. Facebook is more secure than some little business site that doesn’t understand how to salt their passwords. If anything, using your Facebook login everywhere is more secure.

0 votes

Achraf Almouloudi

But it is less likely to find a hacker trying to hack an user account of someone on that not so popular site than to find an army of hackers specialized in Facebook hacking. Tech guys know how to secure and recover their Facebook accounts but most people don’t do. I always get requests from my friends to recover their Facebook account and although it is a simple password reset process they find it difficult and frustrating to do especially if they don’t know their Email password. Another case is : what if Facebook simply decides to suspend your account for a reason or another ? would you like to find yourself no being able to login to a bunch of other sites ? maybe it’s better to secure yourself from the first case.

0 votes

Giggity Goebbels

I flipping hate facebook!

0 votes

Susan K. Stewart

I’m still debating which answer to put in the poll, probably “skip the website.” I really hate using social logins. I’m surprised to find that I’m with the majority. I’ve debated whether to add the option to my websites, and now looking at the results, I may not.

One complaint I have about social logins is, once you get to Facebook or whatever, you then have to “like” the page to get what you what you are looking for.

I use 1Password on my computer and mobile devices. It’s the best I’ve found.

0 votes

Muo TechGuy

I re-iterate: social login has nothing to do with “liking” a page. Social login means that authenticate a site to grab your personal information; in our case, we get your name, and email address and then make an account with that. There’s no liking involved, we don’t spam your social stream, we don’t get the email addresses of all your friends and family.

I think one of the big problems is that social login is quite, quite misunderstood.

0 votes

Lisa Santika Onggrid

It’s so-so. While it can be convenient at times, some sites take it to the extreme and it’s very annoying: providing ONLY social logins so people without supported service account won’t be able to join the site. If I value my participation in a certain website, I prefer to have separate account because, let’s face it. Social networking accounts are the weakest amongst other accounts we possess, simply because people target those sites more than smaller sites we might join.
There are also some sites I don’t feel comfortable sharing my personal info with. I’d use my real name, but will not tie them to my personal social networking accounts.
As for passwords,there are many ways to secure passwords and remembering them. The easiest is to make password scheme like for example: (your middle name)+(First letter of service name)+(Last letter of service name) so you’ll have different passwords for each sites, but with one easy-to-remember pattern.

0 votes

Guest

I don’t use them, because I don’t have any social media accounts. They seem undemocratic to me — not referring to politics or anything, but I feel like I’m in a silenced minority, like a Romney voter with a Hotmail account. ;-) I did vote for Romney, in fact, and I actually don’t have an email besides a disposable Yahoo! one I use just for commenting on articles. The fact that I voted for Romney my first time voting means I have no friends of my age with whom to share anything anyway. :-(

0 votes

Tanim Istiaque

Risky. Always try to avoid them as they may post to my wall or who knows steal personal info

0 votes

Fawad Mirzad

we all heard that some applications sold millions of email address for as low as $5. so logging in to each and every thing using your primary account is just like locking your door and showing the key to thief.
Although i do not have problem in logging into service that are reliable.
I have used social login only with some services like Nimbozz, Operamini, Makeuseof.
Not any thing else.

0 votes

harley

I find them a bit confusing.

0 votes

Suz

This is really disappointing! I was really looking forward to using this site. I’ve read a few articles explaining different software programs that I thought might help a newbie with PC problems/questions and was looking forward to joining in but don’t use nor will I use the social stuff. I’m just an old granny wanting to learn computer. I have joined a couple forums but thought this one looked like it would be more ‘down to my level’.
Soooo sad.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Hi Suz,

First of all, you’re more than welcome to enjoy our content without logging in. There’s nothing preventing you from reading articles and learning, everything is available to everyone.

Logging in lets you accumulate points which you can then exchange for free software and gadgets. It’s fun, but not a necessary part of our website.

In addition, you can also use Microsoft or Google accounts to log in. These are not social accounts, but the same ones you use for email if you happen to use Gmail or Hotmail.

Whichever you decide to do, I hope you continue to enjoy MakeUseOf. :)