Phone Number or Password Please

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Twitter Flight, Twitter's mobile developer conference, has been in full swing this week.

Website Magazine will provide a more comprehensive roundup of Twitter's newly released Fabric platform as details emerge, but one of the most interesting new features (dubbed Digits) is simply too game changing for any Web professional not to know about. Digits is a sign-in service that Twitter is positioned as an alternative way for end-users to gain access to their favorite applications and websites and for much of the world's population, it could change the virtual landscape.

What makes Digits so interesting is that it enables users to log in with a phone number instead of a password. Twitter built the SMS-based authentication product as a result of research it conducted around the world, which revealed that first-time Internet users in places such as Jakarta and São Paulo were using a phone number to identify themselves to their friends. Providing a phone-based sign-up and sign-in could potentially eliminate developers reliance on email (e.g. transactional and confirmation emails) and simplify onboarding of new users.

With the Digits solution rolling out to developers this week, users may start encountering it within mobile apps in the very near future.


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