One of the biggest challenges and problems within the Twitter ecosystem in recent months has been the growing uneasiness amount the Twiterrati to give third-party services their usernames and passwords.
It has meant that many interesting services have gone undiscovered or unexplored simply because Twitters users refuse to give away their passwords. This is a shame because there are many great services being developed by honest people that don’t stand much of a chance of gaining traction.
The good news, however, is help is on the way. Twitter has been spending a lot of time working on a new security solution based on OAuth, an open-source protocol that allows for secure API authorization. In short,
it means you can use a universal ID to use third-party applications rather than handing over your username and password, it means substituting an application key and a token in place of your username and password.
In theory, it’s a fantastic concept because it would be a huge boost to security, and make remembering username and passwords a far less cumbersome process. It would also let third-party applications easily tie into the system.
In a major step forward, Twitter has launched a closed beta for developers to create and manage an unlimited number of OAuth applications. Here’s hoping the process can move from closed beta to launch soon.
For an in-depth look at what Twitter is doing, ReadWriteWeb (which continually provides great perspective) has a long post.