Twitter launches encrypted direct messages and video chat


Twitter CEO Elon Musk has announced changes to the platform’s direct messaging functionality, including the introduction of encryption.

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Twitter could launch encrypted direct messages on Wednesday, Elon Musk said, as the CEO outlined his plans to boost communication features on the social media service.

Musk said in a tweet Tuesday night that the latest version of the Twitter app contains changes to direct messages, or DMs — the nonpublic messages that users send to each other.

The CEO said users can now reply to any message in a DM thread, not just the most recent one, as well as use any emoji to react to a message. Previously, users could only reply to the last message in a DM thread and could only react with specific emojis.

Musk also announced that encrypted DMs “should” be released on Wednesday.

Message encryption means that only the sender and receiver can see a message. In theory, Twitter and Musk wouldn’t be able to see or intercept direct messages between people.

“The litmus test is I couldn’t see your DMs even though there was a gun to my head,” Musk tweeted.

Parent Facebook Meta said in January that it was expanding default end-to-end encryption testing for its Messenger service. WhatsApp, the other messaging app owned by Meta, has had end-to-end encryption for several years.

Encrypted email services have grown in popularity over the past few years as users focus more on privacy.

Musk also said voice and video calling will soon be added to Twitter so users can “talk to people all over the world” without giving them a phone number.

Since Twitter’s inception, the development of the Direct Messages feature hasn’t caught much attention from previous CEOs. But Musk has repeatedly signaled his intention to make Twitter a “multipurpose app,” from messaging to financial services.

New Twitter Features Musk’s promises aren’t always introduced on time. In February, he said Twitter would introduce a feature to share ad revenue with creators on the platform. It hasn’t happened yet.

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