Twitter has said that it will be charging its users to use two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure their accounts via text message, another apparent move to tap into new revenue streams.
"Only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to use text messages as their two-factor authentication method," the company tweeted on Saturday.
Phone number-based 2FAs are being "used and abused by bad actors", San Francisco-based Twitter, bought by billionaire Elon Musk last year, said in a blog post in which the tweet was linked to.
Non-Blue subscribers will not be allowed to use text messages as a 2FA method after March 20, and those accounts with text message 2FA still enabled will have it disabled, it said.
Disabling text message 2FA, however, "does not automatically disassociate your phone number from your Twitter account", the company said.
2FA is a security method that requires two forms of identification to access data on accounts, and is generally considered a reliable way of safeguarding them.
Most platforms use a mobile device to call, send a text message, or utilise a personalised 2FA to verify an identity. The advantages of 2FA are "endless", according to Microsoft.
Twitter Blue, meanwhile, is the platform's top-tier account, which indicates that a user is verified and is part of Mr Musk's goal of reining in fake accounts.
The premium feature, whose fees start at $8 a month, was relaunched in December, with new joiners getting subscriber-only features including Edit Tweet, 1080p video uploads, reader mode, the coveted blue check mark and even 4,000 character-long tweets.
It was previously free for verified accounts of famous personalities such as celebrities, politicians, journalists and other public figures, but Mr Musk opened it up to anyone willing to pay the premium.
Mr Musk had previously claimed that the company was losing $4 million a day, and laid out plans to boost the platform's revenue by five times to $26.4 billion by 2028.
In its last financial report before its acquisition, the company swung to a net loss of more than $270 million in the second quarter of 2022, compared to a net income of about $65.6 million in the same period a year earlier.
Twitter is also moving forward with plans to introduce a payments feature on its platform, steering it towards Mr Musk's plans to tap into new revenue streams, the Financial Times reported last month.
The company had applied for regulatory licences across the US, the paper said.
Speaking at the World Government Summit this week, Mr Musk said the journey so far has been “quite a rollercoaster” as he tries to “stabilise Twitter”.
He said that he went ahead with the purchase because he wanted to create a trusted digital platform.
For users who don't have a Blue subscription, they are encouraged to "consider using an authentication app or security key method instead", it said.
"These methods require you to have physical possession of the authentication method and are a great way to ensure your account is secure."
Earlier this month, Mr Musk said Twitter will start sharing advertisement revenue with some content creators, but did not specify the actual share creators would receive.