Twitter announces that users will now be charged for text-based two-factor authentication

Twitter has announced that it will now charge its users for text-based two-factor authentication (2FA), meaning only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to use the security feature after March 30.

Twitter shared the news a blog, and claim: “We have seen phone number-based 2FA used – and abused – by bad actors. As such, starting today, we will no longer allow accounts to opt-in to the text messaging/SMS method of 2FA unless they are Twitter Blue subscribers.”

For those unfamiliar, two-factor authentication is another way to secure your account, as you need a randomly generated code alongside your password to log in. For those who have already enabled this on Twitter but are not Twitter Blue subscribers, you will be able to continue using the feature until March 20, 2023. If you don’t currently have them enabled, you must now subscribe to Twitter Blue to use them.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk hasn’t commented too much on the subject just yet, though he replied “yup”. to the following tweet from T(w)itter Takeover News;

“NEWS: Twitter changed their policy regarding SMS-based 2FA because telcos used bot accounts to pump 2FA SMS. They lost $60 million a year to fraudulent text messages.”

As noted by Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security, owned by Twitter Account Security Report July 2022 states that only 2.6% of active Twitter accounts have 2FA enabled. Of that 2.6%, 74.4% use the SMS/SMS option, while 28.9% use an authenticator app and 0.5% use a security key.

If you don’t plan on subscribing to Twitter Blue, users can still “consider using an authenticator app or security key method instead” to secure your account.

Twitter Blue is $8/month on web and $11/month for iOS and Android in the US. and it gets you a blue tick, the ability to edit tweets and 1080p video uploads, and will “take you to the top of replies, mentions, and searches” and “see half the ads” going forward.

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