Twitter Text Authentication Confusion

Twitter text authentication confusion: did you get a confusing message about text authentication and Twitter? You’re not alone. Folks across most devices and platforms received a message on opening Twitter that they needed to remove text authentication. Or pay heavily for Twitter Blue to keep it.

Authentication Types

Confused about authentication types? Text, Authenticator App, Security Key? I have more in depth information in my blog What is Multi-Factor Authentication?  Simply put text is the least secure way of securing your account.

Twitter allows you to use an Authenticator app (like Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator) for free. No need to fork over for Twitter Blue.

Set up Authenticator on Twitter

From your web browser, click on the More option on the lower left hand side.

Next click Settings and Privacy. You will be prompted to put in your password next.

In the next screen click on Security  and Account Access > and then click on Security>.

In Security, click on Two-Factor Authentication.

Next uncheck the text authentication box and put a check beside Authentication App. Have your phone authenticator app ready.

Next you will scan the QR code provided by Twitter into your authenticator app.  And voila! You have successfully changed from text to authenticator app in Twitter.

Why did Twitter change this rule?

Since Elon Musk took over Twitter the platform has been bleeding advertisers and users. Musk can no longer afford SMS rates for the authentication.

What’s  horrifying is that instead of asking people nicely to switch over, Musk decided to use this to push the paid Twitter Blue accounts.

And even more horrifying is that Musk pretended that is text authentication is worthy of being paid for. Authenticator app provides better protection. Musk is trying to capitalize on most folks’ confusion about authentication.

The timing of this change is interesting too. Late on a Friday when most folks don’t have access to their tech support to answer questions.

Twitter text authentication confusion: totally unnecessary.

UPDATE: after I published I saw a tweet from Elon Musk claiming that Twitter is getting “scammed by phone companies for $60M/year of fake 2FA SMS messages”. Seems unlikely…