Twitter brings log-in via phone number to wider app landscape with 'Fabric' platform

The tool provides an alternative to traditional social sign-in

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, speaking about the new Fabric platform for mobile developers at the Flight conference in San Francisco.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, speaking about the new Fabric platform for mobile developers at the Flight conference in San Francisco.

Twitter is opening its nest to more mobile developers, with a new service for easier app sign-ins.

The company on Wednesday began rolling out "Digits," an alternative tool mobile developers can use to let people sign in to their apps instead of using their email or other social account credentials.

It's one of a range of new features included in "Fabric," a new platform for app developers designed to help them build, grow and monetize their apps, which Twitter also announced Wednesday.

Fabric was developed from some services Twitter has already made available for developers, like its Crashlytics service for crash reports and its MoPub mobile advertising system.

Digits, however, is entirely new. "It makes mobile sign-up frictionless, providing an identity relationship between you and your users," Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said to an audience of roughly 1,000 mobile developers at the company's inaugural "Flight" conference in San Francisco.

With Digits, app developers can incorporate a button into their sign-up page prompting users for their phone number. The user enters it, and Twitter sends an SMS message to his or her phone for confirmation.

Digits is available for iOS, Android and also the Web, in 216 countries in 28 languages, Twitter said. McDonald's is an early partner already using it in its mobile app.

Fabric, which Twitter has been building over the past year, organizes a number of mobile software development kits for developers into a single platform. Besides Digits, it also includes tools for developers to track the effectiveness of their ads, through MoPub, and a new SDK to let developers more easily embed tweets in their apps.

All of the tools, at this point, are free. With Fabric, Twitter is hoping to get developers back on its side, with a more open platform than its had in years past. Eventually Twitter may start charging for more advanced tools.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessocial networkingtwittermobilesocial mediainternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?