2FA, short for two-factor authentication, is an added layer of protection to secure online accounts beyond login passwords.
Microblogging platform Twitter has made a two-factor authentication method, a method to secure accounts, exclusive to its paid subscribers. The Elon Musk-owned company announced last week that after March 20, it would not allow non-Twitter Blue accounts to enroll in the SMS method of two-factor authentication.
“While historically a popular form of 2FA, unfortunately we have seen phone-number based 2FA be used – and abused – by bad actors,” the company said in a blog. “After 20 March 2023, we will no longer permit non-Twitter Blue subscribers to use text messages as a 2FA method. At that time, accounts with text message 2FA still enabled will have it disabled.”
The company added that the unpaid subscribers who are already enrolled would get 30 days to disable two-factor authentication. The San Francisco-headquartered company urged non-Twitter Blue subscribers to consider using an authentication app or security key method instead.
2FA, short for two-factor authentication, is an added layer of protection to secure online accounts. It needs an additional login credential, beyond username and password, to let users access their accounts. Twitter allows 2FA via SMS, an authentication app, and a security key.
“Twitter changed its policies regarding SMS based 2FA because Telcos Used Bot Accounts to Pump 2FA SMS,” according to a Tweet by a verified handle named T(w)itter Takeover News. ; adding that the company is losing $60mn per year on scam SMS. Twitter chief Elon Musk replied with a “yup” on the thread.
Musk, who is also the head of Tesla, bought Twitter for $44 billion last year. Following Musk’s takeover, the Blue Bird has managed to garner regular headlines about its weakening content moderation policies, a surge in fake accounts, and re-activation of accounts of some controversial celebrities.
It is no surprise that the social media company has been since reeling financially as it introduced several cost-cutting measures including laying off several of its employees. Twitter is also undergoing several legal proceedings relating to non-payment of rent for its offices and other services acquired by the company.
Moreover, since the change in ownership, Twitter is also fighting to retain advertisers, and last year launched Twitter Blue with the view of growing revenue. In India, the monthly Twitter Blue subscription cost users Rs 650 for the web and Rs 900 each for Android and iOS devices. Twitter charges Rs 6,800 for a yearly subscription.