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Did Twitter disable its SMS-based two-factor authentication?

According to Twitter, this was done because we were not being responsible enough with our SMS 2FA. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Image: KnowTechie

Quick Answer: Effective March 20, 2023, Twitter is sunsetting SMS-based Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for accounts that are not subscribed to Twitter Blue.

If you’re reading this post, are not subscribed to Twitter Blue, and your Twitter 2FA via SMS is still working – you probably haven’t updated your Twitter app yet.

What is happening to Twitter’s SMS-based 2FA?

On February 17, the big blue bird announced that Twitter would discontinue SMS Two Factor Authentication for anyone who doesn’t subscribe to Twitter Blue, the $44b website’s $8/mo (or more!) enhanced verification scheme.

According to their blog post, this was done because we were not being responsible enough with our 2FA via SMS:

“While historically a popular form of 2FA, unfortunately we have seen phone-number based 2FA be used – and abused – by bad actors. So starting today, we will no longer allow accounts to enroll in the text message/SMS method of 2FA unless they are Twitter Blue subscribers.”

“Head Twit” Elon Musk doubled down – claiming that this move is a purely fiscal choice, simply another brilliant chess move in the platform’s endless march toward efficiency:

What is Twitter Blue?

As we mentioned back when it launched, Twitter Blue gives users access to a suite of features, including editable tweets, algorithmic preference in replies and on the “For You” timeline, and other vague promises that haven’t yet borne fruit.

This change marks one of the most major updates for Twitter Blue users in months.

What can I do to keep my Twitter account secure?

If you (like an overwhelming majority of Twitter users) do not want to subscribe to Twitter Blue, according to Twitter, as of March 20, 2023, SMS-based 2FA will be disabled.

For now, third-party 2FA apps can still be used with Twitter, although it’s unclear if recent changes to Twitter’s API access will impact this.

What are some good third-party 2FA apps?

As we mentioned in our 2FA explainer, there are a lot of really great apps for managing the security of your digital mobile ecosystem – it depends on the level of security you need and your own appetite for learning new user experiences.

Some of the best are:

Any of these apps would be more secure than Twitter’s old SMS-based 2FA scheme, and it could save you $8/month.

If you have 2FA on your Twitter account and have not made this change yet, we would recommend doing it immediately to avoid any issues with login going forward.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Roger Feeley-Lussier is a recovering Social Media Expert who lives in Central Massachusetts.

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