Twitter recently launched the encrypted direct messages (DMs) feature to verified users on its platform. Elon Musk briefed that users could respond to any messages in a tweet thread using the Instagram-like feature. 

Alongside, Elon Musk also announced that the microblogging platform will remove inactive accounts

How does it work?

Twitter claimed in a blog post that the latest version of Twitter on Android, iOS, and the web will generate a pair of device-specific keys called private and public key pair. “In addition to this, there is a per-conversation key that is used to encrypt the content of messages. The private-public key pairs are used to exchange the conversation key securely between participating devices,” the microblogging platform said.

The platform employs cryptographic schemes to encrypt every single message, link, and reaction that are part of an encrypted conversation before they leave the sender’s device, and remain encrypted while stored on Twitter’s infrastructure.

Who can use

Both the sender and recipient must be verified users and show have the latest Twitter app. They should be connected as a follower or should have accepted a Direct Message (DM) request.

How to send encrypted messages?

Eligible users will see a toggle within Twitter’s messages tab. The sender of the message will have to enable the “encrypted” mode and choose an eligible receiver to compose a message.

Toggle to enable encryption mode

Toggle to enable encryption mode

Twitter revealed an alternative method for users to send an encrypted message through the conversation settings page of an unencrypted conversation

  • Tap into an unencrypted conversation from your inbox.
  • Tap on the information icon.
  •  Select “Start an encrypted message”
Click to start an encrypted message

Click to start an encrypted message

Limitations of the feature include;
  • Users can send encrypted messages only to a single recipient at present. The feature would likely expand to group conversations soon.
  • Encrypted messages only support text and links and not media attachments.
  • Twitter only allows a maximum of ten devices per user for encrypted messages.
  • Users cannot report encrypted messages. However, they may block user accounts from sending one.