Elon Musk told Twitter employees on Monday that he wanted to add video and voice calling functionality and secure direct messaging to the social media platform. According to his plans, the private messages would be encrypted, meaning the text could in principle only be read by the participants, as is the case on platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.
Musk added that he spoke with Signal creator Moxie Marlinspike, a former Twitter employee, who is “potentially willing to help” with encrypting Twitter private messages. “We want to allow users to communicate without worrying about their privacy,” Musk said, citing potential data breaches that could result in messages being leaked, or employees spying on users.
Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, has made public his desire to improve how the social network’s direct messages work. In a meeting with employees yesterday, he explained exactly what it looked like.
Framed by presentation slides titled “Twitter 2.0” at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Monday, Musk told employees the company would encrypt private messages and work to add encrypted video and voice calls between accounts, according to a recording of the meeting.
“We want to allow users to be able to communicate without worrying about their privacy, [ou] without worrying about a data breach on Twitter causing all of their private messages to be accessed on the web, or thinking that maybe someone on Twitter could be spying on their private messages,” Musk said. “It’s obviously not going to be cool and it’s happened a few times already.”
Musk is correct that the private messages have been exposed before. In 2018, Twitter warned that an undisclosed number of private messages between companies and their customers had been accessed by strangers for more than a year. And earlier this year, the US government accused a former employee of improperly accessing user data on behalf of Saudi Arabia, though it’s unclear how the private messages were or weren’t. have not been used.
Towards encrypted private messaging on Twitter?
Over the years, Twitter has started and then stopped creating encrypted private messaging on several occasions. But now Musk is determined to roll out encryption as a top priority for the vision he calls Twitter 2.0. “We should get to a situation where I can’t look at anyone’s private messages even though someone has pointed a gun at my head,” he told employees Monday.
He went on to praise Signal, the encrypted chat app that is run as a non-profit organization. He said he spoke with its creator, Moxie Marlinspike, who is now “potentially willing to help” with private message encryption on Twitter.
“Ironically, Moxie Marlinspike was working on Twitter and actually wanted to do encrypted private messages several years ago, [mais] he was denied that and then went and created Signal,” Musk said.
Musk went on to say that “we also want the ability to do voice and video chat via private messages.” He acknowledged that Signal requires sharing a phone number to start a thread and that, through its account system, Twitter can facilitate secure calling “so you don’t have to give someone your phone number.” ‘a “. Signal has said since 2020 that it is also working to stop relying on phone numbers, although it has yet to deploy this capability.
Replacing phone numbers with more identifiable account usernames is a popular idea among tech circles. Last week, Musk echoed Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s support for such a concept.
It’s unclear whether calling and encrypted messaging would be available to all users, or only as part of the $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription.
The planned features could also tie into Musk’s idea of ”creating X, the catch-all app.” The world’s richest person bought the X.com domain name more than five years ago and talked about creating a “super-app” comparable to WeChat in China.
Sources: Elon Musk presentation with slides entitled “Twitter 2.0”, Twittersignal
What do you think of the direction taken by Elon Musk on the future of Twitter?
Encrypted private messaging, video and voice calls, features likely to interest you on this platform? Why ?
Could such features be reserved as part of the $8 per month Twitter Blue subscription to entice users to put their hands in the wallet? Why ?