I am developing a niche social networking iPhone app of my own.

I was wondering if it would be best to allow the user to connect to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to login to my app (and of course an eMail/Password fallback) or just go with regular eMail and Password login.

Any thoughts would be appreciated! :)

  • Gosh, how many-th duplicate is this? Seems to come up in one form or another weekly if not every couple of days. Apr 1, 2013 at 18:30
  • 1
    @MarjanVenema In that case, StackExchange's search must not be very good, as I haven't found something like this yet. Apr 1, 2013 at 18:47
  • Yep it isn't exactly mind blowing. I tend to just Google for the info on StackExchange. if I want to restrict results to this site I put site:ux.stackexchange.com before the keywords. Apr 1, 2013 at 19:36

4 Answers 4


You should offer both.

When presented with the option of using an existing major account or creating a new account specific to the system, many people will opt to create a new account.

There are pros and cons to each, but there is no reason not to offer them both.

This is what StackExchange does.

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  • The choice of works is interesting "If you don't already have an account on any of the above" I have an account with a couple of the above and still opted to sign up from scratch.
    – Kayo
    Apr 2, 2013 at 13:09
  • @Kayo As did I. Many people don't like using syndicated sign in's as you are then locked into whatever service that is even more.
    – JohnGB
    Apr 2, 2013 at 13:13
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    There is a con to offering both. Choice always comes with a cost. In this case, not only do you have to make a choice when you first sign up, you have to remember to make the same choice every time you sign in.
    – Max
    May 15, 2013 at 12:24

It's significantly easier to use an existing major account (e.g. Twitter, FB, gmail) to sign up for something than to go through the new account creation process (fill in form, select username, password, confirmation email, etc.). Having a lower barrier, you'll get more sign ups if you allow sign ups via existing accounts.


I use existing accounts like gmail to use some applications. For example, my SE account.

That said, when it comes to social networks, I intentionally avoid logging into most things through Facebook. FB's a much more informal, and personal network, and between privacy issues and applications in the past which have been known to post as the user to their friend's facebook walls etc, I think a lot of others avoid dishing out their Facebook login. Gmail, or a generic email account on the other hand, that's a whole different story.

You still need to think about your audience and whether or not they'd even think it that far through. I'd suggest if you're going to allow users to login with other social networks, that you allow a wide variety so they aren't avoiding your app because they don't trust you with a Facebook login, while they would trust you with a gmail login.


Sometimes users are lazy to even type their email and password. In that situation, having signup via social sites like Facebook and Twitter really is very big plus point. I personally like to have my same identity (single) at all login so I prefer to user Facebook/G+ login wherever possible.

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