Facebook has started testing a new facial recognition feature that could allow users to regain access to locked accounts with just a look. Like Apple‘s recently-announced Face ID system, the new technology scans the user’s face and compares the image to their profile picture, as well as photos and videos they are tagged in.
The feature is designed as an alternative to the text or email verification tools used to reset passwords and is currently being trialled on a ‘small number’ of users.
‘We are testing a new feature for people who want to quickly and easily verify account ownership during the account recovery process,’ a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.
This optional feature is available only on devices you’ve already used to log in. It is another step, alongside two-factor authentication via SMS, that were taking to make sure account owners can confirm their identity.
It is not yet known whether or when this new feature will be available for Facebook users but it appears to be part of wider plans to integrate facial recognition technology more widely into the social media service. Last year, Facebook purchased FacioMetrics, a facial recognition software firm, in a push to integrate the technology into the platform.
By scanning the faces of millions of users around the world, the software could measure reactions to develop gesture-based controls, such as smiling for a like.
Facebook said that it has bought facial recognition start-up FacioMetrics, potentially using the technology for photo or video effects to better challenge rival Snapchat.