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Twitter introduces encrypted DMs for subscribers

Twitter now supports encrypted direct messages. This allows subscribers to exchange DMs without the platform storing the messages. They remain only available on the end devices. The big catch is that only paying members can use encrypted direct messages. This includes verified users and organizations or their partners.

In addition, both the sender and the recipient must have an appropriate subscription. So if you don’t pay at least €11 or $8 a month for Twitter Blue, you won’t get encrypted DMs either. Encrypted messages appear as separate conversations and are currently limited to one-to-one messages. Group chats cannot be encrypted, at least for now.

Other limitations include the lack of protection against “man-in-the-middle” threats. In theory, Twitter could decrypt the conversation and neither the sender nor the recipient would know anything about it. Messages and links are encrypted themselves, but metadata such as recipients, creation time or linked content are not.

Hopefully this isn’t the final stage of encrypted direct messaging. Because Twitter users are relatively unlikely to pay €11 / $8 per month for a feature that WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Signal and iMessage offer for free.



Toni Hobrecht
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