Twitter CEO Elon Musk today revealed that the platform will soon gain encrypted direct messages (DMs) as well as audio and video calls. These features aim to enhance user engagement, privacy, and communication options on the platform.
[Update; May 11, 2023: Encrypted DMs are available but only for paid subscribers, without end-to-end encryption protection and other limitations. In the dedicated support document for the new feature, the company acknowledges that currently, its DMs are not E2E encrypted to protect users from data poachers.
Currently, we do not offer protections against man-in-the-middle attacks. As a result, if someone–for example, a malicious insider, or Twitter itself as a result of a compulsory legal process–were to compromise an encrypted conversation, neither the sender or receiver would know.]
In addition to revamping messaging, Twitter to add audio and video calling soon
According to Musk’s announcement, the latest version of the Twitter app allows users to reply to any message in a thread, expanding beyond the restriction of only replying to the most recent one. Additionally, users will now have the freedom to choose any emoji as a reaction, adding a touch of personalization to their conversations.
With latest version of app, you can DM reply to any message in the thread (not just most recent) and use any emoji reaction.
Release of encrypted DMs V1.0 should happen tomorrow. This will grow in sophistication rapidly. The acid test is that I could not see your DMs even if there was a gun to my head.
Coming soon will be voice and video chat from your handle to anyone on this platform, so you can talk to people anywhere in the world without giving them your phone number.
In a move towards bolstering user privacy, Twitter will launch encrypted DMs, which will become available on Wednesday. This feature represents a significant leap forward as the encrypted messages cannot be accessed by the company. Musk emphasized that encrypted messages will continually evolve and become more sophisticated over time.
This development follows Twitter’s acknowledgment in 2018 of a bug that granted third-party app developers access to some users’ direct messages, highlighting the importance of enhanced privacy measures.
Another exciting addition to the platform is the introduction of voice and video calls, which will function similarly to FaceTime. Musk revealed that users will be able to make calls using their Twitter handle, eliminating the need to share personal phone numbers. While Twitter currently offers live voice conversations through Twitter Spaces, this marks the platform’s first step into direct competition with other online platforms like Instagram and Facebook which support audio and video calling.
Addressing a recent security incident, Twitter rectified a bug in its system that inadvertently displayed private Twitter Circle tweets to random users in the For You tab. The bug, which affected several users in April, was swiftly fixed by Twitter, and users were notified of the resolution via email.
Furthermore, Twitter made a reversal in its decision to charge government services for using the Twitter API, allowing them to continue utilizing the service for free. This change comes after Twitter’s initial decision to shut down access to the API for government services in early April.