We’ve mentioned the Big Brother-like activity of social media, so it should be no surprise that we find Twitter leading the pack with it’s latest service – Digits. Digits is a new way to sign in to all of your apps, with the convenience of never having to remember a password. That’s right – all of your days of trying to figure out which numbers come after your dogs name, or when your mother’s birthday is, or getting hacked because “password” was in fact your password, are over!
Digits is being marketed to application developers looking for an alternative to the infamous “Forgot Password?” link. Rather than using a password, Digits allows users to register for and sign into apps using a phone number and sending an SMS confirmation code. It is also free for developers to build into their apps.
Twitter’s timing couldn’t be more perfect. Digits is especially appealing to the booming market of messaging app developers for apps like Whatsapp (bought out by Facebook) and Snapchat. Logins on these types of apps are different from the types of logins on the web. Digits simplifies and secures these mobile login processes.
This seems convenient, not a scary Big Brother figure! What’s the catch? Twitter can now track and save users’ phone numbers, one of the most powerful assets to determine someone’s entire identity – search history, app downloads, phone company, type of phone, you name it! Twitter can use the phone number to not only verify a person, but also gain access to their online habits.
As phones have become a vehicle for search and entertainment, companies have had to adapt how they advertise to potential consumers. Enter Digits. Now, companies have the option to purchase this juicy information about their target market – which all rests in the hands of our beloved blue bird.
Twitter doesn’t only show what’s trending socially, but is getting ahead of the curve from a business-sense. According to Twitter’s Digits Product Manager, Michael Ducker, 300 million people are buying a smartphone this year in the U.S. and Europe. This is a clear example of why emerging markets today account for over 70% of the world’s mobile population. Twitter is showing that it isn’t just a standalone social app, but rather a force to be reckoned with as a powerful influencer within the mobile landscape.
At the end of the day, a phone number is easier to remember than a username you created years ago and a password referencing your favorite TV character with who-knows-what number following. Digits is a continuation of how social media has become a Big Brother-like presence and can track you. So users, embrace and enjoy the convenience of new technology, but be mindful of how it is being used on the other side.
Digits launches today in 216 countries and in 28 languages on iOS, Android, and the web.