On December 20, Facebook added the Instant Verification option to the Account Kit for Android. The new feature makes apps more SMS-independent and makes the login process much faster and simple.
SMS Authentication is one of the tools developers use to give their users access to their apps. Usually, they open the app, and the company sends them a message with a temporary password.
Once the user gets it, he introduces the pin and gains access to the application. It is simple, but it is not incredibly practical. Moreover, there are countries where the SMS service is not reliable which can lead to a frustrating experience.
What is Facebook’s Instant Verification and how does it work?
Facebook’s Instant Verification is an extra tool added to the Account Kit set that works as an alternative to SMS authentication.
According to the official announcement, when a person tries to open an app using they phone number, Instant Verification checks if he uses the same number on their Facebook Profile. If that is the case, the app will open without having to introduce the SMS authentication code.
In other words, the new tool allows Android customers to use Facebook as an automated digital key when they are login to their accounts using their phone number. However, there are some conditions.
Instant Verification will work only if the customer is logged in the Facebook App on the device (Smartphone, Tablet, etc.)
If that is not the case, or if the phone number does not match the one registered in the Facebook Profile, the user will receive a one-time password via SMS or email to access the app instead.
How safe is Instant Verification?
Facebook explained Instant Verification was completely secure for the end user. The feature does not share any extra information with third party apps. It only allows them to verify the phone number.
There is a group of developers that are already testing the feature, and they are satisfied with the results.
Faminolet developed an application that lets users share their locations with friends and family in real time. According to David Nellessen, one of the company’s Co-Founders, the app saw a 40% increase in registrations after implementing Instant Access and 5% of their customers already converted to the new login method.
Interested developers have to head to the Facebook’s developer page, and they will find the SDK in the Android category. It requires Android API 15, and it comes with a full “Get Started” guide.