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Due to privacy concerns, Facebook continues to lose influence and sway with companies that once regarded this social media giant as a key advertising partner. Case in point: there is now a growing trend for company websites to drop the Facebook “social sign in” button. At one time, this button was a convenient log-in option for users who might not remember their username and password. But not anymore.
Is it finally time to drop the Facebook button?
Of particular note, some of the biggest online retailers in the world, including the likes of Dell, Best Buy, Nike, and Patagonia, are removing the Facebook button. These companies have found that the Facebook login option is not nearly as effective as it once was. Put simply, consumers are thinking twice about signing in with Facebook, given all that they’ve heard about the social media giant’s propensity to share data with just about everyone.
In study after study, in fact, consumers are indicating that they would rather login with a more trusted social media company. For example, in North America, Facebook is no longer the preferred social login for consumers. The clear leader is now Google. In large part, consumers admit, it’s because it’s a lot harder to quit Facebook than it is to quit Google. It seems like everyone, at one time or another, has thought about shutting down (or at least pausing) their Facebook account. But how many people would quit their Gmail account?
What does it mean for advertising dollars?
Dig a little bit deeper, though, and it’s clear that all those online retailers that are getting rid of the Facebook social login button are not doing this because they are such strong advocates for privacy. Rather, they are doing it because the Facebook button is no longer as useful for their online advertising practices. For example, some companies admit that they like to collect consumer email accounts, and when consumers choose to sign up entirely via their social media accounts, advertisers are being left out of the loop.
Moreover, the entire advertising business model created and perpetuated by Facebook appears to be losing steam. Consumers no longer trust Facebook, so they avoid giving their personal information to Facebook. In turn, Facebook has less data to offer advertisers. And, in response, advertisers are less interested in Facebook as an advertising partner. Facebook used to describe this as a “win-win-win” because everybody won: the consumer, the advertiser and (especially) Facebook.
But now, it seems that nobody is winning and that’s why people are moving on from Facebook. Consumers perceive the Facebook login as a possible intrusion into their personal lives rather than as a convenience. Advertisers aren’t getting the sales they expected. And even Facebook is hurting. It will now be two consecutive quarters that Facebook has reported declining revenue numbers. That might be normal for a regular company, but certainly not for an advertising behemoth like Facebook!
Time to remove the Facebook button?
The big takeaway here is that all of the negative attention and publicity that Facebook has piled up over the past few years seems to be having a real-world impact. People have caught on that Facebook is monetizing them and becoming rich in the process. So if you’re running a small- to medium-sized business, now might be the time to get rid of those social media login buttons on your websites. Your customers will thank you later.