Rooly Eliezerov
December 19, 2023

Authentication in 2024: Transitioning from Social Login to Biometrics & Passkeys

Over a decade ago, TechCrunch spotlighted the burgeoning trend of social logins, with Gigya pioneering the movement. This same innovating team, now under the banner of OwnID (with Gigya later being acquired by SAP), is heralding the transition to biometrics and passkeys, pushing social logins to the sidelines.

Rooly Elizerov, the co-founder of both Gigya and OwnID, asserts, "The era of social login is drawing to a close." Passkeys offer the seamless one-click login convenience that has far surpassed social login's popularity, and without the associated drawbacks. "Many leading B2C firms are now distancing themselves from social logins, and for varied reasons" he notes.

Understanding the Social Login Giants: Google & Facebook

Sure, logging in via Google or Facebook offers user convenience, but there's a catch. Every such login notifies these behemoth data collectors. Given that both Google and Facebook thrive on data collection, businesses need to be wary about how this might inadvertently impact them.

Apple's Login: The Identity Conundrum

For many online enterprises, a customer's email address is the vital link bridging multiple services. But there's a hiccup when users opt for Apple logins. Apple provides users an option: share their actual email or use an Apple-generated proxy.

Understandably, many choose the latter for privacy. While this is great from a user standpoint, businesses face an obstacle as this disrupts their traditional user identification processes, potentially impacting service quality and ultimately, the bottom line.

Furthermore, Apple mandates that any iPhone app offering a social login must also feature Apple's login option. This stipulation can handcuff businesses. A consistent user experience across platforms is crucial.

Enter: Passkeys

2023 witnessed the escalating adoption of passkeys—a technology supported by the operating systems and browsers offered by Apple, Google, and Microsoft. It facilitated effortless logins using device-unlock like Face ID on iPhones. Giant websites such as Amazon, TikTok, and Google, and even non-tech entities like Office Depot and Carnival Cruise are jumping on board.

The icing on the cake? No data is shared with third parties. Everything operates at the device level, often using hashed keys stored in users' cloud accounts.

OwnID: Pioneering Passkeys Integration

While passkeys is a flexible technology, its implementation can vary, especially across diverse scenarios like logging in from a friend's device or moving from an iPhone to an Android. Optimizing for user experience and increasing web conversion is precisely where OwnID can significantly help.

By providing renowned B2C brands like Nestle, Bayer, and Carnival Cruise with a comprehensive passwordless solution, OwnID ensures no use case is left behind.

"Compared to the bare-bones implementation of passkeys which sees a mere 3%-5% uptake, OwnID-empowered websites witness a whopping 40%-60% adoption," Elizerov reveals.

Moreover, passkeys effectively address users' privacy concerns associated with social account logins.

So, is the sun setting on social logins? All indicators point to 'yes', but as with all transitions, it'll be gradual. For businesses still contemplating integrating social logins and looking to gain a competitive advantage, it’s time to leapfrog directly to the future and embrace a fully frictionless user experience.