Twitter Is Working on End-to-End Encryption for Direct Messages

One researcher spotted changes to Twitter for Android source code, which were then vaguely confirmed by CEO Elon Musk.
Conor Cawley

Not all the news out of a Twitter has to be chaotic, as the social media platform is reportedly looking to launch end-to-end encryption for direct messages.

Let's be honest, Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter has been a bit of a mess. From the fired employees that were asked to come back to the blue check mark fiasco that cost some businesses billions of dollars, there's been no short supply of headlines to follow the controversial CEO and his new social media platform.

However, it's not all doom and gloom, as Musk is reportedly planning to add one of the platform's most sought-after features to Twitter at some point in the future.

Researcher Spots End-to-End Encryption in Twitter Source Code

Spotted by mobile researcher Jane Manchun Wong, new source code has reportedly been added to Twitter for Android that explicitly talks about “encryption keys,” along with other mentions of the end-to-end protocol.

Wong shared the discovery on Twitter, naturally, and wouldn't you know it, Elon Musk responded with a winky face emoji, all but confirming that end-to-end encryption is indeed on the way. At least, that's the plan.

Twitter has tried to roll out end-to-end encryption for direct messages in the past, although the feature — dubbed Secret Conversations at the time — was eventually scrapped.

There's no timeline for when this feature might come out, nor any mention from Musk about end-to-end encryption beyond the cryptic emoji, but it's safe to say there's at least a chance users will have more secure messaging on Twitter in the future. But do you need it?

Is End-to-End Encryption Important?

In so many words, yes, end-to-end encryption is important. It allows only the users to see the messages in question, essentially blocking any third party, even the platform on which the messaging occurs, from viewing them. As far as businesses are concerned, this level of security is always recommended when it comes to even the most basic kinds of communication between coworkers.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other platforms that offer this level of security, including Zoom and Microsoft Teams. These tools are designed for communication between coworkers, which means that that end-to-end encryption is key to secure company data. Even WhatsApp added end-to-end encryption last year, leading the way for a more secure messaging standard across the social spectrum.

Admittedly, adding Twitter to the pile won't be as necessary for businesses, but it will allow for a generally more secure experience for users. And considering Elon Musk has been concerning tweeters by firing security professional on the team, it's safe to say adding end-to-end encryption to direct messages on the platform will assuage a lot of users.

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Conor is the Lead Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.

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