Digits is one element of Twitter Fabric, the new suite of tools for developers the social network rolled out last year during its Flight Developer Conference. Digits replaces passwords with mobile phone numbers with the goal of making it easier to sign up for new apps.
The thinking is that reducing friction at signup will make it easier for developers to keep users on their service as some users are put off when they need to make a new account and password for each service. During Flight, Twitter said this would be particularly useful in emerging markets where many users with smartphones don’t have access to a PC.
“Passwords or other extra steps in the login process may reduce your website’s conversion rate,” Twitter explains on its 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 was already available to developers on iOS and Android but by making it available on the web through the Digits SDK, developers can now link their mobile apps and websites through Digits.
Here’s how it works: Users who have already logged in to a mobile app with their phone number will now see a similar prompt when they log into the app’s accompanying website. The first time they log into a site that uses Digits, they will need to confirm their phone number once via SMS.
Once this step is complete, users won’t have to repeat the login process again for any Digits-enabled website.
While its up to individual developers to adopt this tool, which is completely separate from Twitter itself, the company aims to make the process as easy as possible for developers to integrate Digits and other elements of Fabric into their apps by only requiring the addition of a few lines of code.