Our Blog

The official Motribe blog, written by the founders

June 30

We are happy to announce the roll-out of Facebook Connect integration across all of Motribe’s mobile community sites, making it even easier for our users to join and interact using our community platform.

Motribe users can now sign up, log in and share content using their Facebook accounts instead of creating a new account on Motribe.  The thinking behind the decision to integrate another social network’s social graph into our own was, as you can imagine, complicated and we spent a long time debating this at the MotribeHQ.  In this post I am going to summarize some of the thought processes and illustrate how we got to where we are.

Objection 1: Delusional Paranoia

One of the most surface-level objections to doing this is the idea that piggy-backing on a Facebook’s social graph will eventually make us dependent on them and expose us to the risk that we may be cut off arbitrarily.  The simplest way for Facebook to do this is to block your app or the admin profiles.

We put this aside by developing a technical work-around that creates a Motribe account that can be used independently of Facebook.  This is a little insurance policy for us but it also allows our users the ability to change their Motribe profiles without having those same changes reflect back into Facebook.  This is very important for a UX perspective because as Motribe pushes deeper into niche communities the separation of a users ‘official’ or ‘real’ identity on Facebook and their experimental identity on Motribe becomes crucial.  This is particularly true for members of subcultures and fringe groups.

Objection 2: Facebook’s Regional Saturation

Another concern we had was that in many cases Facebook may not have penetrated deeply into some of the communities Motribe speaks to.  For example rural Nigeria and India, where we cannot assume that Facebook is ubiquitous, especially on mobile.  For this reason, and some of the other data we have collected, we took Twitter integration off the table.

The workaround for this was to do a partial integration.  We give our users the option to use Facebook Connect but they can also create a regular Motribe account.  Interestingly we have found that people presented with the choice are equally as likely to choose the one over the other even though the Facebook option is quicker.  This goes back to the previous point about keeping identities ring-fenced.

Objection 3: It’s a lot of work, is it worth it?

The requirements from a developer integration perspective are not simple and we found our use-case even more difficult because we use a MVC framework that disallows certain URL redirect conventions that Facebook uses to route a user through the process.  As a result it took us about two weeks to get this done and by Motribe standards that’s a long time.

Honestly we are still not 100% convinced that this was worth the time but we are convinced that when you combine Facebook Connect with Facebook Ads then it is definitely worth the time.  One two of the subculture niche community sites we are currently nurturing we have seen a conversion rates ranging from 30% to 36% from a click on a targeted Facebook Ad to  a landing page prompting a user to use Facebook Connect.  The same ad pointing to a landing page without Facebook Connect has a conversion rate of 15% to 20% so you can see the value right there.

Our final reasons for doing it

  1. Our brand customers wanted it
  2. It will make things easier for some of our users, even if it is a small percentage
  3. It helps us with some small details like email address verification, one-click photo sharing etc

What does it look like?

The images below show what the login screen and the optional Facebook Connect landing page for new users looks like on two of our community sites


3 Responses to Facebook Connect integration for Motribe mobile communities

  1. Dale Imerman says:

    Nice one guys, I think it’s a great addition to the solution and implemented well too.

  2. Awesome integration, I think motribe is going far :)

  3. Well 2 me it’s a big acheivement cos u can easily clig 4rm face buk 2 motribe moble network,nd 4rm motribe 2 face buk,u can shre pictures etc.it bn nys moment since ever i join the network it been fun i enjoy every bit of tym whn ever i log in

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