How Facebook’s Anonymous Login will Affect the Ecommerce Industry
May 12, 2014
Today it’s no secret that consumers are increasingly worried about their online privacy. A recent Pew Research study found that 50% of Internet users are worried about the number of key pieces of personal information such as email addresses, photos etc, that are easily accessible online. At Facebook’s recent F8 Conference in San Francisco, the company responded to users demand for control by announcing a slew of new tools to limit the distribution of personal information.
Here are a few insights on the changes made and how these will affect the way e-commerce businesses interact and connect with consumers across various online channels.
1. Anonymous Login
When it comes to Facebook login, internet users have always been in two minds. Some of them love it because it allows them to seamlessly create new accounts without having to keep a note of dozens of different usernames and passwords. While a few others hate it when they find that they can’t do anything on an app unless they connect it with their Facebook account. These users dislike the idea of apps digging through their contact lists and other personal information that they choose to share on Facebook.
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Anonymous Login is Facebook’s way of responding to the needs of the above mentioned users, by helping them protect their privacy and log into third-party apps and services. Users can now use Facebook to log into apps without sharing any of their personal information, and thus try out new apps and see for themselves if they are useful or not. To top that, it even allows for the same anonymous login data to be synced across devices.
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And once the users are comfortable, they can choose to customize the personal information that they are willing to share with the app. They have the option to uncheck any data fields such as likes, friends list etc that they don’t wish to share with the app, while still using Facebook as their login provider.
But as in the case of most ecommerce businesses, if some of your users have opted out of Facebook login because they were not comfortable sharing certain key pieces of personal information like friends list, email address etc, the new Facebook Login controls can help you collect some profile information from those users as well.
This can be done by building on the trust that’s established when you allow them to login anonymously and prompting your users to share additional information by either offering incentives or talking about the benefits that they will receive when they share more of their data. It also emphasizes the need for marketers to provide clear value propositions to incentivise users to “upgrade” out of anonymity.
Thus while the era of Big Data meant that user control would play a lesser role in privacy protection, Facebook’s new login is also a step in the right direction by putting users first. It also showcases that while responsible big data collection puts more control in the hands of the users, it also lets businesses to provide users with better ways to manage how their personal information is used.