Twitter Launches Password-Killing Service ‘Digits’

January 22, 2015 Updated: June 25, 2015

Twitter released a product called “Digits” for website and app developers in late 2014 that eliminates the need to create and remember a password or username. 

According to Twitter’s blog, users enter their cellphone number when signing in. A text message is then sent to the user with a code. After the user inputs the code, they are signed in, eliminating the need to create and remember a password or username.

Twitter has just expanded the service to developers of desktop apps.

Twitter outlines a few main advantages to Digits.

Because the user has been verified via text message, consistent identity experience across platforms is ensured.

Twitter monitored the activity of mobile users and discovered complicated login and registration protocols can drive away new users. In developing parts of the world, it is more common for a person to only have a smartphone as they are cheaper than a desktop or laptop computer.

Once a user has been verified via text message, Digits will store that information and not ask for verification again. They call this, Single-log-in: completely streamlined

McDonald’s was one of the first adopters of Digits, using it to give coupons and special offers to users who shared McDonald’s content with their friends. McDonald’s wanted to make sure a real person was doing the social promotion, and using a cellphone number accomplishes that while avoiding other headaches.

“McDonald’s felt social sign-ins put too much burden on a user to share personal details, and that email addresses and passwords were too often forgotten or onerous to manage,” Twitter said in a blog about their new services.

“Digits enables McDonald’s to quickly authenticate real users and get them into the app with a minimum of friction.”