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Twitter (sort of) introduces end-to-end encryption for DMs, but you have to pay for it

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Twitter has launched an end-to-end encryption for direct messages on the social media service. This means that only sender and receiver can read the messages. However, the encryption still has many shortcomings. 

Elon Musk was one of the harshest WhatsApp critics when it came to their security standards. He even told users to switch to different messaging apps instead. So when he took over Twitter in 2022, one of his first promises was to get Twitter's shelved end-to-end encryption plans back on track. 

Today, the security feature has been launched, but Musk already warned users that this was an early version, and to "try it, but don't trust it yet". 

Twitter end-to-end encryption: What are the issues?

While Twitter released the encrypted messaging feature today, it's not available for all users. As of now, you need to have a verified account to be able to access it. With Musk's latest changes in the verification process, this means that you need to pay for a Twitter Blue subscription in order to get a verified account.

For private users, the Twitter Blue subscription costs eight US-dollars per month. Currently, organizations are asked to pay around 1,000 US-dollars for the blue check mark.

Having to pay for the end-to-end encryption is not the only issue, though. 

Company releases list of shortcomings of Twitter encryption

In a help article, the company itself today pointed out that even for verified users, the encryption still has various limitations. 

Some of these are: 

  • End-to-end encryption isn't set as standard.
  • If you're receiving a DM, you have to follow the sender or already have accepted a DM from them, if you want the messages to be encrypted. 
  • Group chats are not end-to-end encrypted (yet). 
  • The encryption only works if your messages only contain text and links. As soon as you add other media, such as images or videos, it won't work.
  • It doesn't provide Forward Secrecy security, which makes hacking into someone's messages a lot harder. 

Not a game changer yet

All in all, many users will be happy to see Twitter move towards a more secure communication. At the same time, the encryption still has too many shortcomings to provide a truly safe exchange. 

For users who value their privacy, messaging apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage, Threema, Signal, and Telegram still provide higher security standards. 

And for businesses, the new Twitter encryption isn't a real game changer either, as it's very expensive to even get access to it, and still doesn't provide the sophisticated data protection and security features that companies require. 

🔐 Are you interested in a secure messaging solution for your business? Get in touch, and we'll show you how you use WhatsApp and other messaging apps safely for your business communication! 

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Image of Marinela Potor, editor-in-chief at Sinch Engage.
Written by: Marinela Potor