Elon Musk announces Twitter encrypted direct messages; voice and video chat coming soon

Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced that features such as encrypted DMs and voice/video chats to connect with users worldwide would be coming soon

May 10, 2023 03:02 pm | Updated May 11, 2023 02:10 pm IST

File photo of the Twitter logo on a phone

File photo of the Twitter logo on a phone | Photo Credit: AP

Elon Musk has announced several new features that users of the latest Twitter app will be able to experience, including the first version of encrypted direct messages, and voice/video chat.

Encrypted direct messages (DMs) are slated for release on Thursday and Musk promised they would improve “rapidly.”

“The acid test is that I could not see your DMs even if there was a gun to my head,” he said.

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The Twitter chief also noted that those with the latest version of the app would be able to DM any message in threads and use any emoji as well.

Musk shared that voice and video chat from Twitter handles would be “coming soon,” allowing users to talk to people all over the world without using a phone number.

A Twitter Help Center page explained that encrypted DMs would be made available to users who had the latest version of the app and were verified, meaning that the feature will be a paid one for most Twitter users. The message recipient also has to follow the sender, and/or should have sent a message to the sender before, and/or should have accepted a DM request from the sender before.

Encrypted messages will exist alongside non-encrypted messages, with a badge being used to differentiate the two.

“As Elon Musk said, when it comes to Direct Messages, the standard should be, if someone puts a gun to our heads, we still can’t access your messages. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re working on it,” said Twitter in its Help Center page.

The feature is still under a number of technical limitations.

On Wednesday, Musk retweeted allegations that WhatsApp was accessing smartphone microphones in the background. He added that WhatsApp could not be trusted.

Earlier in the week, Musk announced that Twitter would be purging accounts that had been unused for years, in order to free up the handles. Users raised concerns such as platform fragmentation and the loss of accounts belonging to deceased users.

In response, Musk said that accounts would be “archived.”

This article was updated to reflect the latest information.

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