Clef, a two-factor authentication service founded in 2013 has announced that it is discontinuing its product. Clef is most well known for removing the burden of remembering usernames and passwords by replacing them with a 300 character key using mobile cryptography.
The service’s WordPress plugin is active on more than 1M sites and has been removed from the directory. Clef will continue operating until June 6th, 2017. After June 6th, the mobile app will stop functioning and be removed from the Google Play and Apple App stores.
Users are highly encouraged to transition to a different two-factor authentication provider as soon as possible. Clef has published a transition guide to help users switch to Two-Factor, Authy, or Google Authenticator.
The announcement offers few details as to why the service is shutting down. Brennen Byrne, Clef’s CEO, says the team is joining another company and that more details will be published soon.
Users and customers reacted to the news by expressing disappointment and sadness in the comments, “I am very very sad for that,” Furio Detti said. “And I must admit a bit disappointed — Clef was clever, clean, quick.”
“I need no more and no other. I’d like to know if the shutdown could be a sign of bad luck in business or a changing of strategy to improve the product. I tried many systems, but CLEF was the very best, the others, almost annoying crap.”
Others questioned how the company reached the point of shutting down, “Has something gone wrong or incredibly right?,” John Walker asked. “How can something so useful and reassuring be canned?”
“WordPress installer states over 1 million active users. That’s a lot of websites to just drop without tangible explanation.”
The decision to sunset the product was not an easy one, “We’ve considered a lot of options for how we can satisfy our responsibility to the folks who have used our product for a long time, but ultimately we felt like this was the only responsible option we could take,” Byrne said.
The service offered commercial business plans, including a $1,000 a month plan but couldn’t find a business model that worked, “We’ve been so happy to build a product that people loved and which had widespread adoption in the WordPress community, but we haven’t been able to find a business model which made the company sustainable,” he said.
Please spread the word that Clef is shutting down as potentially thousands of users may not discover it until their keycodes stop working on June 6th.