In the past year or two an exciting new trend has been emerging for online media – the Social Login. Users login to websites with Twitter or Facebook ID and the sites provide a more relevant experience for the user. This works particularly well for news sites, a good example is Mashable - users login with their social media ID and can see articles shared by connections. Bing launched something similar a while back, Bing claims to show more relevant results based on users social media profile.
The value for the user is relatively easy to see – more relevant search results, more relevant news articles etc. But there is significant value for the publisher as well that is not so obvious. The publisher can increase their ad revenue sharply (some studies say 12X). Publisher can serve much more relevant ads. Imagine you Tweeted “cant wait to get to Tahoe this winter” and then you go to Mashable and see a special offer for discounted lift tickets. Or imagine your LinkedIn profile says “social media manager” and you see ads for Salesforce new social media tool.
It is exciting to see how this trend will play out. It is likely that Facebook, Twitter and of course Google will all try to embed their login in as many websites as possible. But I think LinkedIn will be a big winner here. LinkedIn has unique value prop to publishers – they are the strongest professional SN (social network) . Naturally the professional publishers (Mashable, Cnet, Barrons , The Motley Fool) will get more value out of LinkedIn than other SNs. LinkedIn mayeb in a great position, since it can own the professional publications and let the other three SNs fight it over for the non professional publications (People, Kosmo etc.)
Here are couple of reasons why the Social Login makes even more sense for profesionals:
Privacy less of an issue:
Users are usually less concerned about privacy when it comes to professional info than personal info. I would be pretty worried about Mashable knowing my FB info but I am happy to share my LinkedIn info with Mashable or anyone for that matter.
Professionals have the bigger pain point
Are you more concerned about knowing latest news about Kim Kardashian or about the new product in your industry. If you answered the former I must say I worry about you. When in leisure mode users are not so concerned about finding the right info right away. Do users really need People.com to personalize their experience and show them more relevant info? I would think that when reading People.com personalization is not huge value add for users. They want to browse around and find random gossip. Not the case with professional publications. I usually have 15-20 min in the morning to scan the news, I am really really concerned about publishers showing me relevant articles.
Search is perhaps the best example of why LinkedIn login works better than others. When I am in non work mode I want my searches to be relevant, if I search Bing for latest news on Europe it would be nice for Bing to pop Bulgaria news on top, even though these news are usually about ex body builders turned politicians. But really I won’t get mad if I have to take an extra effort to find the right news. Not the case with work searches . If I am at work I want the right answer much faster. It would be great if when I search for cloud computing my search engine returns articles shared by my developer buddy Asen. I trust Asen’s judgment a lot more than the Bing or Google algorithm.
Well targeted ads more of a priority for B2B than B2C companies
B2C companies are more likely to go for low CPM mass campaigns i.e the spray campaigns. For example, if Gillette launches a new razor they want get the name out to all men, they are not too concerned about further targeting. Not the case with B2B companies, they usually will not do a large branding campaign. They want to reach exact target customer e.g the CTO, the VP of marketing, etc.
I welcome different thoughts and views on the above.