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Facebook's Account Kit signs you in with a phone number

Engadget Engadget 12/04/2016 Jon Fingas
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Twitter isn't the only big social network that wants you to ditch the password. Facebook is using its F8 conference to unveil Account Kit, a framework that lets you sign into apps using a phone number or email address -- you won't need a Facebook account just to get into that music store or messaging service. You just have to acknowledge a confirmation message (either by email or SMS) to get your foot in the door. The feature is useful worldwide, but it's particularly crucial in developing regions where having a Facebook account is far from guaranteed.

You might think that Facebook would hate technology that helps you avoid its platform (it thrives on adding more users), but there are good reasons why it'd make this move. The easier it is to sign in to a given service, the bigger that service gets -- which, in turn, increases the chances that people will sign in using Facebook accounts. It may be wiser to forego a few early users in favor of getting many more sign-ups later on.

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