- Twitter said only Twitter Blue subscribers can use text messages to secure accounts from March 20.
- Text message two-factor authentication was being “abused” by “bad actors,” the company said.
- A Twitter Blue subscription costs $11 a month on Android or iOS.
Twitter is restricting the use of text messages for two-factor authentication to paying Twitter Blue subscribers, the company announced on Friday.
It believed that text-based two-factor authentication was being “abused” by “bad actors,” according to a blog post published Wednesday and shared in Twitter’s latest announcement.
The new policy is set to come into effect on March 20. That gives non-Twitter Blue users just over a month to switch to another authentication method by using either an authentication app, or a security key.
Elon Musk responded “Yup” after a user suggested that Twitter was changing its policy “because Telcos Used Bot Accounts to Pump 2FA SMS.” The user also suggested that Twitter was losing $60 million a year “on scam SMS.”
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 18, 2023
This latest policy shift does not appear to be popular, with one user tweeting: “i vow to be a financial drain on this hellhole until its fully rubble.”
Another said: “Unlimited texting costs me like $40 a month, you guys can use my plan if you want to.”
The move appears to be Twitter’s latest push to increase revenues. Shortly after Elon Musk’s takeover last October, it introduced Twitter Blue, which allows users to pay for the blue checkmarks previously reserved to high-profile figures.
Twitter Blue costs $8 a month on web and $11 on Android or iOS.
Earlier this month Twitter also sparked controversy by announcing that it planned to charge developers a minimum of $100 a month to access its API, which was used to build popular third-party services like Tweetbot and Twitterrific.
On Friday, Elon Musk also pledged to counter “irrelevant” and “annoying” adverts on Twitter by taking “the (obvious) corrective action” of tying ads to keywords and topics.
Bruce Falck, who was was Twitter’s revenue product lead until May 2022, said: “As the former lead for Ads at Twitter, I can confidently say this man has no idea wtf he’s talking about.”
Musk responded: “My apologies, you must be a genius, which is why Twitter has the worst ad relevance on Earth.”
Twitter and Elon Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider.