New Facebook feature may spell the end for traditional username and password logins
Facebook product marketing director Deborah Liu speaks about Account Kit at the F8 developer conferenceGetty Images

Facebook has announced the launch of a new feature — Account Kit, which could spell the end for traditional username and password logins. The feature allows users to sign in using just their phone number or email.

Facebook's feature is specifically aimed at app developers who can add the feature to their apps, essentially allowing users to login without passwords. The feature has also been specifically designed for mobile software, offering long-lived sessions and simple account management.

The feature is designed to send out an OTP (one time password) to users once they enter their phone number or email. Once the user's number or email as well as the auto-generated code have been provided, the feature allows instant access to the app.

Facebook said: "Account Kit helps people quickly and easily register and log into your app using their phone number or email address as a passwordless credential. Account Kit is powered by Facebook's email and SMS sending infrastructure for reliable scalable performance with global reach. Using email and phone number authentication doesn't require a Facebook account, and is the ideal alternative to a social login."

The tech giant tested the feature with Indian music app Saavn and noted that new sing-ins to the music app increased by 33% after sing-ins via Accounts Kit were introduced, the Verge reported.

Facebook is not the first to test out non-traditional logins. Twitter in 2014 introduced Digits, part of its development platform Fabric, which allowed developers to sign in using just their phone numbers. Although Accounts Kit is likely to reduce the number of users signing on to third-party apps via their Facebook accounts, the feature will likely attract more developers to use the tech giant's developing tools and platform.

Accounts Kit is now available to all developers and is available for iOS, Android as well as website and mobile websites.