Google launches Facebook-like sign-in button

Google’s taking a leaf out of Facebook and Twitter’s book with the launch of Google+ Sign-In, which allows users to log into web sites using their Google+ credentials.

It works much like Facebook Connect or the Twitter sign-in system, demanding the user’s Google+ username and password; the company’s security procedures, including two-factor authentication, are carried over when signing into the sites.

Google’s signed deals with ten sites initially – Banjo, Beautylish, Fancy, Fitbit, Flixster, The Guardian, OpenTable, Shazam, TuneIn and USA Today.

Cheekily, the company’s pitching the move as a way of cutting down on what it calls social spam – the automatic sharing features which Facebook boasts as an advantage.

“Sometimes you want to share something with the world (like a high score), but other times you want to keep things to yourself (like fitness goals). With Google+ Sign-In and circles you decide who to share with, if at all,” says Seth Sternberg, director of product management for Google+ on a company blog.

“In addition: Google+ doesn’t let apps spray ‘frictionless’ updates all over the stream, so app activity will only appear when it’s relevant (like when you’re actually looking for it).”

There are a few other useful-looking features. For example, when users sign in to a website with Google, they can install its mobile app on an Android device with a single click.

And, says the company, when users share from an app that uses Google+ Sign-In, their friends will see a new kind of ‘interactive’ post in their Google+ stream. Clicking will take them inside the app, where they can buy, listen to, or review the item that was shared.