Facebook Log In Coming to Passport Apps

I don’t write nearly enough. It actually pains me to write that statement, especially since one of my goals for 2014 was to pen a weekly mobile marketing post. Already I’ve failed as three months in, this is my sixth. It’s not because of a lack of motivation, but similar to being sidetracked on some of my 2013 goals, other priorities took precedence.

Between a career change and working on several new app projects for BakBurner Digital at night, things have been hectic. (I didn’t even mention the family time.) I’m getting to a much more stable place though, which I’ll detail in the future, and will be able to devote more time to sharing insight on this blog again.

One of the time consuming BakBurner Digital projects has been the release of all new versions of Winery Passport and Brewery Passport for iOS. I take pride in prioritizing user feedback and incorporating it into our enhancement roadmap. I read and respond to every email, taking each desire and adding it to an Evernote file. These new versions will feature one of the most requested topics: Improved registration.

When I was drawing up Winery Passport last summer, I included the option for users to create their passport through Facebook, Twitter or email. However, this was complicated by the fact that people could sign up using email, then connect their Facebook account and try to log in via Facebook or Twitter. Too many options, I thought. On top of that, I didn’t want to be sneaky like some apps that say “Connect using Facebook” and then take you to a registration screen after they’ve already snatched up your personal details.

In the end, we went exclusively with the email registration method. I never felt completely comfortable with it. I’m sure I’ve lost a lot of users because of it. The reason we need the registration though is to tie stamps and journal entries back to a specific user. If everything was stored locally, and you lost or decided to upgrade your phone, you’d say goodbye to all your hard work. That’s almost as bad as losing the paper passport (my inspiration for Winery Passport).

The inclusion of Facebook authentication presents a much cleaner, familiar option for users. With one click of the “Connect with Facebook” button, they’ll be able to sign up for Winery Passport or Brewery Passport and begin stamping. We’ll pull in your Facebook profile picture, name, email and state to populate your Passport. That’s all. We don’t access any of your friends or other personal info, nor do we share it. We’re always very clear about that.

You also won’t need to create a password for your account. If you ever sign out, just click “Connect with Facebook” again and we’ll take you right where you left off. Pretty cool, right? Based on our research, we’ve cut the sign up process from 32 seconds to two.

Let me address one other suggestion we’ve received: No registration at all. I thought a lot about the look-around option, giving users the opportunity to discover wineries but not save any info (stamp, journal, passport, etc.). While I’m not completely writing off signup bypass for the future, I just don’t feel like the apps would be valuable with this offering.

I expect the new version of Winery Passport and Brewery Passport to be out in the first or second week of April. We hope to follow that release up with our Android versions. But more to come on that in the near future.

What are your thoughts on Facebook authentication? Let us know in the comments below.

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