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Facebook places bets on the future by removing the need for a Facebook login

Facebook has unveiled a new tool for developers that helps users without a Facebook account sign into their apps. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it's actually a pretty wise bet for future growth.

Published onApril 13, 2016


It might sound crazy, but Facebook is placing bets on the future by making it easier for people to sign into other apps without Facebook credentials. Facebook unveiled the new Account Kit at its F8 developer conference, a framework that allows users to sign in to other apps and services using their phone number or email address.

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Facebook’s reasoning behind this is that a Facebook account is far from a given across the globe and the need for one may represent a barrier to the growth potential for certain apps that offer a Facebook login option. By removing the need for a Facebook account, potential users cans sign into apps with whatever they have to hand.

Facebook Account Kit sign in example

New users – including those without a Facebook account at all – can use their phone number or email address to login and verify with a code sent via email or SMS. These users get access to the app service they’re after and the app grows its user base. So what’s in it for Facebook?

It may seem counter-intuitive for Facebook to bypass its own platform as the preferred method for signing in to other apps. But it's not.

While it may seem counter-intuitive for Facebook to bypass its own platform as the preferred method for signing into other apps, by making it easier for an audience without a Facebook account to sign in to new apps, the service in question grows in popularity, increasing the likelihood that more users with Facebook accounts will eventually join it – and use their Facebook accounts to do so.

It’s an intriguing approach to growth in a world where one out of every five people already has a Facebook account. But when your monthly active user base is steadily approaching two billion (and should reach that milestone in roughly two years), you need to start looking at new ways to draw in the other three-quarters of the world’s population that is either averse to a Facebook account or simply doesn’t have access to one yet. Account Kit might just be a wise bet after all.

Do you use your Facebook account to sign into other apps? Would you prefer an Account Kit sign-in?

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