Less Passwords? Yes Please
In October last year Twitter unveiled its ‘Digits’ product for developers. Digits finally did away with passwords and emails and allowed users to log into their apps and services by using just their phone number.
This was a welcome addition to anyone who’s constantly cycling through three different working email accounts, two throwaway accounts and countless passwords. If it weren’t for Mac Keychain I’d never remember anything I swear.
Digits is one key feature of Twitter’s own developer suite for creators, Twitter Fabric.
Digits only rolled out for mobile apps last year, but yesterday Twitter announced that they’re now rolling out the service for the web as well. It’s been a very good week for Twitter.
Twitter and developers are hoping that by introducing Digits they’ll be able to make it even simpler for users to sign up to new websites.
They’re onto something here, because we’ve all signed up to a new website recently only to have to fill in all of our details then validate our accounts by clicking the link in an email the site would send to us. Not before searching through our spam folders for the damn thing though.
Furthermore, people are often put off having to think about creating a new username, password, account and fork over one of your precious email addresses. I know I am, it takes me ages to think of a decent username and even then I’m never happy with it.
Here's what Twitter had to say on their blog:
Digits login for web gives your users a powerful, single-log-in experience that also increases the conversion rate for your logins. The result: users only have to log in on the web once to engage with all of your services as well as other apps in the ecosystem.
Digits on the web is very simple. Say you’ve used Digits on your Twitter app and then go to log into your Twitter account on your internet browser, you’ll just have to enter your number again and then that’s it. No more logging in, all sorted, just with a number.
Once you’ve done this once, it’ll then work for all your Digits enabled websites. Easy.
One thing that I find quite concerning is the issues of security surrounding the use of Digits. In our ever-growing digital age we are constantly bombarded with the worries of cyber security and getting hacked. It’s all over our news, there was the iCloud hack and just last week some socialaccounts of the US Army was hacked.
Simplifying our passwords one step more doesn’t seem like the safest path for us to be taking right now. On the other hand, Digits could be used to create a form of Authenticator to help us log into services. Authenticators are great, you know that little thing that you have to use when you do online banking? That’s an Authenticator. World of Warcraft players are probably very familiar with them as well.
Either way, a simpler way to log in does seem great. If it’s just for my social media accounts then that’s great too, I don’t think anyone would really want to be hacking me.
I’ve been ‘hacked’ enough times while I was at Uni. I’m not sure any of my friends take any updates from me seriously anymore.