Google Login Buttons Are Worth It

By Mike Gozzo

I stumbled upon a great post by Aaron from Mailchimp a few days ago on Hacker News. He mentions a common problem most SaaS providers face in their user experience, that of failed logins and lost passwords. It certainly is troubling to see so many people have trouble logging in and often just abandoning the service completely.

The Problem

Aaron raises some great points about how littering a login page with social login buttons can generate confusion among users coming back to your service and put security into the hands of a third party.

Internally, social login features have been the source of tremendous debate. Steve even ran an informal survey of our FounderFuel cohort and determined that the vast majority avoided social login, particularly due to privacy concerns around how the social data was being used and what it would publish to their stream.

Google to the Rescue

When we redesigned Appifier’s authentication system, we were required to support OAuth in order to integrate with one of our partner channels. Since we had already built in generic OAuth functionality, we decided to experiment with third-party authentication.

Since Appifier doesn’t require any kind of social information on a user, we elected not to integrate with Facebook and Twitter logins. Instead, we set up Google OAuth through their API console. This integration would not only allow users to quickly sign up to Appifier using their Google accounts, it also meant that Appifier could be included on the Chrome Web Store. We weren’t sure how much traffic the Chrome Web Store could bring to us but decided to take the leap anyway since it was so easy to do.

The Results

Since integrating with Google OAuth:

  • 51% of user accounts were created through Google OAuth.
  • 86 users have signed up through the Chrome Web Store alone within 1 month of being listed. We haven’t been featured or gotten any kind of special placement.

One weird result:

  • 11% of user accounts have an address but were signed up without OAuth

Overall, this data speaks for itself. If you’re building any kind of SaaS web app, take a good look at whether or not Google OAuth can work in your use case. It’s an integration that makes sense in the minds of potential users and if your results are anything like ours, you’ll almost certainly see growth in your user base as a result of your product being even easier to get started with.

1 thought on “Google Login Buttons Are Worth It

  1. Angus

    Another weird fact – I never used social login until you did that survey! That was when someone said “just pick one type of login and always use that one” and I went like “woah.” Life-changer, man…


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