Most people on the internet will be vaguely aware that passwords are very bad at securing accounts; Twitter believes that it has found a solution to the problem with Digits, This new service can easily be integrated with any mobile app, and will instead replace the old fashion user name and password combination with a phone number and SMS confirmation code.
Digits requires users to enter their phone number into the login page, after which a confirmation code will be sent via SMS. The entire process takes about as much time as entering a regular password, and those who use two stage authentication on their accounts will be familiar with how it works. There is also a distinct lack of passwords to be remembered, and all the user will have to keep on hand is their smartphone.
Twitter claims that this works better because not everyone will have an email address to use as their login information; although for some strange reason still thinks that they have smartphones as their primary computer. It doesn’t sound like the most logical explanation, but that should not take away from the potential of the service to change how people interact with mobile devices.
The system is also capable of forming friends lists from the users’ contacts on the phone. Although this will apparently have to be done manually for each Digits powered app. The option to create social connections using the system is one that is necessary to make it useful; plus the fact that contacts are not automatically added is a concession to the privacy of users.
Twitter is making Digits available in 216 countries and 28 languages. It is apparently simple enough to implement in any mobile app, requiring only a few lines of code. Whether it will take off is a completely different question as developers are still wary of the micro-blogging company after how it treated them in the past.