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Twitter SMS Dead And Gone

It is now official, Twitter has finally announced that it is turning off its Twitter via SMS service for the majority of its global user base. 

"You can no longer receive tweet notifications via SMS. Twitter is retiring the feature."

On Monday twitter said via twitter support: "we want to continue to help keep your account safe. We’ve seen vulnerabilities with SMS, so we’ve turned off our Twitter via SMS service, except for a few countries.
Everyone will still have access to important SMS messages needed to log in to and manage their accounts."

Twitter declined to specify which countries the Twitter via SMS will remain available in. But the feature has been handy for people on non-smartphone handsets, or who lack steady access to internet networks. It works by tying your cell phone number to your Twitter account. To post a tweet, you can send an SMS message to a special "short code" number (in the US, it's 40404).

SMS messaging was the main way mobile users could post to the social media platform back in 2006 when Twitter was first founded and smartphones were starting to emerge. Times have changed, and now most users send and receive tweets via the company’s mobile app or a browser. However, the company kept the Twitter via SMS feature running up until last year when a group of hackers began abusing the function to hijack people’s accounts. 

This recent change affects users who were still receiving tweets from other users via SMS. The social media company had already turned off the ability to tweet via text message after Twitter CEO,  Jack Dorsey was hacked last year.

Some Twitter users with a large following may notice a drop in followers as high as 10 percent due to the removal of these SMS-created accounts. 

Apart from that, the changes appear to be minimal. These accounts were simply receiving tweets from users they signed up for SMS notifications for. Besides adding to the follower count of those users, they did not exist on the platform. These users did not have a profile or an ability to sign into or engage with Twitter.

The company informed some of its partners of the changes that occurred on April 16. Unfortunately, due to the way these accounts were set up many years ago, without an email or other contact information, Twitter is unable to notify these users directly of the service changes.

Despite the change, Twitter is not killing off SMS-based functions totally. Everyone will still have access to important SMS messages needed to log in to and manage their accounts, the company said. This includes the SMS-based two-factor authentication system on Twitter.

If you have this security safeguard activated, we recommend you ditch relying on SMS to transmit the two-factor codes. Instead, its better to use an authenticator app to generate the two-factor codes directly on your phone.

Finally, Twitter is urging those who took advantage of the SMS notifications to sign up for push notifications, browser notifications, and other similar yet more modern services supposed by the platform.


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