Goodbye Email & Social Logins? Twitter “Digits” Lets Apps & Sites Offer Login Via Phone Number

No one likes being forced to create another user name and password. It’s one of the biggest frustrations of the internet age. And Twitter is aiming to ease that pain with a new online sign-in protocol that uses telephone numbers to authenticate identity. The new product, called Digits, was one of the highlights of Twitter’s […]

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Twitter Digits
No one likes being forced to create another user name and password. It’s one of the biggest frustrations of the internet age. And Twitter is aiming to ease that pain with a new online sign-in protocol that uses telephone numbers to authenticate identity.

The new product, called Digits, was one of the highlights of Twitter’s Flight developers conference in San Francisco today. It’s a piece of Fabric, Twitter’s mobile app developing platform (read our full coverage of the event here) but it’s much more than just a mobile solution.

It’s available for iOS, Android and the web, giving developers and sites who implement the free service the ability to give users the simplest possible registration system. When users authenticate via Digits, Twitter creates a new non-Twitter account for them based on their phone number. Authentication is done through SMS text, leveraging Twitter’s long relationship with telecom providers and integration of texting into its service. The service is available today in 216 countries and 28 languages.

Twitter created Digits because the state of the online login ecosystem is so dysfunctional, said Jeff Seibert, Fabric’s director of product. Many people in emerging markets don’t have email accounts, effectively shutting out a huge chunk of potential customers.

When studying the market this summer, Seibert said they were shocked to see how many people where not using social logins, the de-facto alternative sign-in option.

“We think Digits is a massive improvement for user login,” Seibert said.



More information about the service is available on the Digits site.


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About the author

Martin Beck
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Martin Beck was Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.

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