Twitter to launch encrypted direct messages with voice and video chat to follow, Elon Musk says

Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced changes to the platform’s direct messages feature including the introduction of encryption.
STR | Nurphoto | Getty Images

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

Musk said in a tweet late Tuesday that the latest version of the Twitter app contains changes to direct messages or DMs — non-public messages users send to one another.

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

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

Encryption in messages means that only the sender and receiver are able to see a message. In theory, Twitter and Musk would not be able to see or intercept direct messages between people.

“The acid test is that I could not see your DMs even if there was a gun to my head,” Musk tweeted.

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

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

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

Since Twitter’s inception, the development of the direct messages feature hasn’t got much attention from previous CEOs. But Musk has signaled numerous times his intention to make Twitter into an “everything app” from messaging to financial services.

New Twitter features Musk promises are not always introduced on time. In February, he said Twitter would introduce a feature to share advertising revenue with creators on the platform. That hasn’t happened yet.

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