You know those distorted, indecipherable combinations of letters and numbers that some websites require you to enter before buying concert tickets or holiday gifts? Those exist to protect websites from spam and abuse, presumably at the hands of some robots who are passionate about live music and presents.
This method is called CAPTCHA, or "Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart," and although it has stopped many robots over the years from infiltrating websites, its dependability has diminished, making how annoying it is for the user harder to justify.
In response, Google has created "No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA," which simply prompts the user to confirm that he or she is not a robot.
Last year, Google developed a new backend technology for CAPTCHA that evaluates the user's entire engagement with the CAPTCHA to determine whether that user is a human. That way, users could enter less jumbled text and CAPTCHA could still offer the same protection to websites. "No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA" is the next step in that technology and only requires users to check a box!
CAPTCHAs aren't totally disappearing, though. In instances where this new robot can't confidently predict whether or not you are a robot, it will provide a couple CAPTCHA hurdles for you to climb.
Early adopters of the new API include Snapchat, WordPress, Humble Bundle, and many more. According to Google, in the last week, more than 60% of WordPress’ traffic and more than 80% of Humble Bundle’s traffic on reCAPTCHA encountered the No CAPTCHA experience—users got to these sites faster.
To adopt the new reCAPTCHA for your website, head over to Google's reCAPTHCA page. Otherwise, enjoy the faster access to concert tickets and holiday gifts.