Gigya Releases Stats On Social ID Use, Talks About Facebook’s News Feed

Gigya, a company that has transformed from widget-maker to social media optimization service, has released a new infographic detailing which social IDs people use most frequently to login to different types of Gigya-optimized websites. Facebook leads with 46% of Gigya logins across all sites, and was also the top social ID for entertainment and business to business sites.

However, Facebook trails Twitter for news site logins with 25% to the microblogging network’s 45%. One should not draw conclusions from this data since there’s no explanation of methodology or notes on the quantity or percentage of total users that employ social IDs. Yet, interestingly, it seems to show ties between certain social communities and content types.

We spoke with Gigya CEO David Yovanno to get some more context about what’s happening in the Social ID ecosphere. He explained that as social becomes a larger source of referral traffic, sites will need to optimize for it in the same way that they have for search in the past. Yovanno says a major thing they’ve learned from their data is that “in different content environments people choose different platforms to connect through.” For instance, “in retail users may be less social during the checkout phase, preferring Google and Yahoo!, whereas for entertainment, which is more chatty, they choose Facebook”.

A key finding of Gigya’s data analysis is the prevalence of Twitter as a social ID on the news sites Gigya powers such as Reuters. We believe this might be due to Twitter’s interest-focus being more conducive to news sharing than Facebook’s geography-focused network, and update frequency norms permitting more posts per day on Twitter than Facebook. Yovanno said Gigya isn’t sure but they are very interested in learning the root of this trend, and have hired an outside research firm to analyze the subject.

They’ve also found that inclusive but curated social login options produce the best results. If your site needs email addresses, you might want to downplay LinkedIn and Twitter social IDs which don’t provide that. By making the login buttons for platforms which provide data a site wants as prominent as possible, designers can corral users to their advantage. Then by adding a “More” button which reveals all the other platforms, including international ones, they can be sure to have a social ID login option for everyone.

Lastly, Yovanno revealed that the type of API that a third-party site uses to let users share to Facebook influences content’s “EdgeRank,” the algorithm that determines what content appears in the news feed. He said that referral traffic for links shared through the outdated REST API was approximately 1/3 of that for content shared through a client-side API. EdgeRank favors client-side API content because its news feed publishing permission request is more explicit than that of the REST API where it’s easier to trick users into sharing. This news should incentivize anyone still using the REST API to upgrade. If sites want to drive leads, increase conversions, and get the best EdgeRank for shared content, they must be concerned with on-site social optimization, social ID login design, and which API they’re using.