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How Can Twitter Benefit with Encrypted Messages Feature?

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Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:52 a.m. ET

Twitter to start “secret conversation” feature

After years of rumors of enabling an encrypted messaging feature, Twitter (TWTR) is finally testing the feature that will allow users to send end-to-end encrypted messages to other users. The “secret conversations” feature is present in Twitter’s Android app, and if launched, will enable users to send encrypted direct messages.

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How good is encryption?

End-to-end encryption ensures that messages are read only by the sender or the receiver, and not by anyone or the company whose platform is used for messaging.

Currently, Twitter’s direct messaging service doesn’t use end-to-end encryption like rival apps Facebook’s (FB) WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. Last year, Facebook expanded its use of secret conversations for its chat and video services.

However, end-to-end encryption is important for Twitter, as the platform is widely used to contact strangers by directly messaging them without needing their contact numbers or email address. Twitter, therefore, can be considered one of the most widely used open messaging mediums where privacy is harmed. Without encryption, messages on Twitter can be seen by anyone, be it the government, hackers, or Twitter itself. By enabling encryption, Twitter users can chat with the privacy protections.

Twitter focusing on revenue growth

In its Q1 2018 results, Twitter’s revenues grew 21% YoY from the year-ago period, marking the highest quarterly growth in the past two years. Twitter has been focusing on international revenue to drive its revenue growth. Twitter’s advertising revenue is also growing on the back of continued audience growth and improved ad product features, as well as an increase in user base. Internet rivals Facebook, Yelp (YELP), Alphabet (GOOGL), and Snap (SNAP) also rely on advertising revenues.

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