April 24, 2014, 2:44 PM

Google’s share of social logins reaches a 3.5-year high

38% of consumers used Google credentials to sign into web sites in Q1 2014. The search giant also increased its share of social logins on retail sites and surpassed all other social logins on B2B sites in the quarter, according to Janrain.

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While the majority of consumers who log in to web sites with their social media credentials still use Facebook, Google Inc. has been gaining ground.

Across all web sites in Q1 2014, individuals who logged in with social network credentials used their Google data 38% of the time—Google’s biggest share in three-and-a-half years, according to social media login technology provider Janrain. Facebook accounted for 42% of those logins, making it the most popular for the ninth consecutive quarter. Yahoo had 8%, Twitter 5%, LinkedIn 3%, AOL 3%, and Microsoft Corp. 2%. (The numbers add up to more than 100% because of rounding.)

“Google has gradually continued to close the gap on Facebook for the past six consecutive quarters,” Michael Olson, Janrain product marketing manager, writes in a blog post about the findings. Olson attributes Google’s growth to increasing consumer use of the Google Plus social network, along with Google’s efforts to consolidate its services—including Gmail, YouTube and the Android mobile operating system—into a single Google account.

“Consumers are using a single Google identity to access each of these services, which may have a positive impact on the value and equity they place in that identity,” he says. “Social login preferences tend to closely reflect these consumer affinities, and as services become stickier for consumers, the identity used to access those services tends to follow suit.”

Janrain does not disclose what percentage of online users log in to web sites with their social credentials.

For the first time since Janrain began keeping track in 2010, Google in Q1 2014 also surpassed both Facebook and LinkedIn to become the most popular social log-in tool on B2B web sites. The search giant also grew its share of social log-ins on retail sites in the quarter to 26% from 23% in Q4 2013, Janrain says. Facebook, meanwhile, though still the most popular log-in option on retail sites, lost a sliver of its share, dipping to 60% from 62% in Q4 2013.

According to another analysis of social log-ins from social login technology provider Gigya Inc., 77% of consumers logging into e-commerce sites in Q1 used Facebook, compared with 14% who used Google, 3% Twitter, 2% Yahoo, 1% Amazon.com Inc., 1% eBay Inc.’s PayPal and 2% “other.”

Across all web sites worldwide Facebook is the primary option for consumers who log in with social credentials. In North America, the social network passed the halfway mark—with 51% of all social logins—for the first time this quarter, Gigya says. Google followed with 31% of all social log-ins in North America in Q1, then Yahoo with 15% and Twitter with 3%.

Facebook log-ins in Q1 were most popular in South America, where it accounted for 80% of all social log-ins, versus 13% for Google, 5% Twitter, 1% Yahoo and 1% “other,” Gigya says.

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