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Twitter’s Social Commerce Ambitions Expose Need For Better ID Verification, Biometrics

Social media use has skyrocketed in recent years, with such sites slowly becoming hubs for businesses, banks and other corporate entities as well as individuals.

More consumers are turning to them for shopping, payments and professional as well as personal connections. Seventy-two percent of United States consumers now use social media sites like content sharing platforms such as TikTok or YouTube as well as networking sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn, for example.

Social media sites have adjusted their platforms and features as their role in the digital ecosystem expands, aiming to offer seamless and — above all — secure experiences for their users. This makes incorporating robust cybersecurity and digital identification measures essential, however, as social media firms must swiftly distinguish between the legitimate individuals and companies using their sites and the growing number of fraudsters who are looking to take advantage of them.

In the latest Future Of Identity Report, PYMNTS takes a close look at how corporate entities’ and individuals’ social media use is progressing, as well as how this is affecting digital identity verification needs on these platforms. It will also examine what tools or technologies may prove particularly useful for social media sites as they look to offer easy experiences for users while ousting fraud.

Around The Identity Verification Space

Distinguishing between legitimate and false accounts or users on social media platforms can be tricky as fraudsters tap previously stolen information to build synthetic identities meant to fool verification measures. Digital identity verification spending is therefore expected to grow as the volume of synthetic identity fraud expands, with one study predicting that such spending will reach $16.7 billion by 2026 compared to the $9.4 billion projected for this year. It is clear that robust digital identification is important to businesses as social media platforms become more integral to their connections with consumers, and social media firms will need to adjust their authentication strategies accordingly.

Having strong identity verification and cybersecurity protections is also necessary as social firms begin collecting more data from their users. Content-sharing app TikTok announced a change in its privacy policy that enables it to collect users’ biometric information, such as faceprints and voiceprints, although it said it would ask for consent when required before it begins collecting such information. TikTok can already access other types of personal information from its users, including any audio or visual information that appears within their backgrounds. Ensuring this data is protected from fraudsters is thus essential.

Allowing media fraud or false identities to proliferate on social media platforms can be damaging to businesses and consumers as well as to the sites themselves. False reviews, for example, can hurt businesses’ reputations and their bottom lines, a realization that is prompting eCommerce platform Amazon to appeal to social media platforms to fix the issue. Amazon said that it had flagged more than 300 groups that perpetuated false reviews on social media within the first three months of 2020, but that the sites took 45 days on average to address these issues. The company argued that social media sites must be more proactive in solving this problem, especially as more consumers begin to use such sites as hubs for retail and other purchases.

For more on these and other stories, visit the Report’s News & Trends.

Twitter Discusses How Social Media Sites Can Tailor Identity Verification To Keep Users’ Trust

Social media platforms are beginning to play a greater role in consumers’, businesses’ and financial institutions’ lives, making strong cybersecurity and identity verification a must. Platforms must reassure consumers that their information is secure and that they are interacting with legitimate entities, explained Sudan Sethuramalingam, Twitter’s head of Service Technology and Scaled Operations.

To learn more about why social media sites should position identity verification as a platform benefit for their users, visit the Report’s Feature Story.

Deep Dive: Why Social Media Companies Must Rethink Digital Identity To Meet Shifting Verification Needs

Many consumers now rely on social media to consume news and interact with brands as well as friends or family — and this has made these sites only more attractive to fraudsters looking to skim money or personal data from their users. Social media firms must implement strong identity verification tools that can help them swiftly and accurately distinguish between false and legitimate users.

To learn more about why social media platforms must rethink their approaches to digital identity and identity verification to thwart fraud and provide a seamless user experience, visit the Report’s Deep Dive.

About The Report

The Future Of Identity Report, a PYMNTS and AU10TIX collaboration, examines how businesses are using modern identity verification tools to provide tight security and smooth customer experiences.

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