Meta has begun experimenting with a new way for users to authenticate their accounts, which could help it save money on SMS charges, while still enabling phone-based verification.
The new process enables users to verify their details via a missed call, by tracking your phone activity.
As explained by Meta:
“We are enabling users to authenticate their accounts with a missed call, in addition to manually entering a one-time password (OTP) sent via other methods. After granting the following two permissions (1) call-log access and (2) call management, users will be able to seamlessly log in to their account without the need for manually entering an OTP.”
The process will enable Meta’s apps to detect when the missed call comes in, and the details of that call, which will then alleviate the need for you to answer, providing another way to authenticate your account without you having to enter a password.
Which, as noted, would also save costs.
As Twitter highlighted recently, when it announced the removal of SMS two-factor verification for non-paying users, SMS verification costs the platforms significant amounts each year, with telco providers charging them for every 2FA SMS sent. In Twitter’s case, that was reportedly costing the company over $60 million per annum in additional telco charges, which is why it’s now scaling back its SMS 2FA access.
Meta’s missed call option could be a way to avoid this, while also making it a little easier for users to log in based on authentication processes.
But it’s not widely available as yet. Meta says that leveraging missed calls for authentication purposes is currently only supported on Facebook Lite, and is only in certain regions.
But it could be expanded in future, providing another option for users and the platforms themselves.