Changes Expected at Twitter Starting from March 20th

March 25, 2023

In the upcoming days, Twitter will require you to either activate the paid Twitter Blue checkmark, or you will be forced to abandon the SMS-based two-step authentication system for your user account.

Social media, e-mail and many other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, Office 365, etc., along with password, offer an additional function to ensure the security of the user account: a two-factor authentication system (two-factor authentication/2FA), which comes in three options:

  • every time you log in to your account, a six-digit number is sent to your mobile phone via SMS service. You must enter this number to gain access to your account;
  • through an authenticator app installed, for instance, on your mobile phone, which presents a six-digit number once a minute. You must enter this number to access your account;
  • and finally, through a physical security key. This keychain-like device performs exactly the same function as the authenticator app.

Elon Musk is consistent: pay for contact

In a tweet made about a month ago, the new owner of Twitter did not hide his dissatisfaction with telephone companies. He disclosed that the service verifying the user’s authenticity through SMS costs the company 60 million dollars per year.

Around the same time, Twitter issued a statement, noting that the platform users who do not switch to Twitter Blue by March 20 will no longer be able to use the SMS method of 2FA.

It is noteworthy that the $8-per-month Blue checkmark offers a number of benefits, including SMS verification.

It appears that the innovation proposed by Musk in December 2022 is gaining traction among other social media platforms. In February 2023, Facebook and Instagram owner Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta (which owns Facebook and Instagram) was testing Meta Verified, a $14.99-a-month service for Facebook and Instagram, which will grant the accounts the well-known verified blue badge, as well as a range of additional privileges.

Why would you pay someone with nearly $200 billion?

Starting March 20, if you refuse to activate Twitter Blue, two-step SMS verification for your account will be disabled.

Experts in the field are expressing concerns that this decision could result in a significant number of people simply opting out of Twitter’s two-factor authentication system.

Moreover, the use of SMS-based two-step authentication is considered the most vulnerable option, as there have been many cases when hackers have used social engineering to obtain a user’s SMS code and gain access to the victim’s user account. In fact, the Twitter account of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey was hijacked in this way back in 2019.

However, even if you choose to spend your $8 differently, you still have the option of changing your Twitter account’s two-factor authentication system settings to either an authenticator app or a security key. These options will remain available for users who do not find the Twitter Blue service attractive.