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.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) April 27, 2020
Everyone will still have access to important SMS messages needed to log in to and manage their accounts.
In emails from Twitter Support, the company explained: “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."
The ability to receive tweets via SMS was a hangover from the company's early days, when it was conceived as an SMS based platform. Since then, however, the site has evolved, and now most users access Twitter via app or website, meaning that the change will affect very few users.
The ability to send tweets via SMS was suspended last year after the company's CEO, Jack Dorsey, was hacked.
The most significant impact of the change is that Twitter has also deleted millions of accounts that relied on SMS, although the company insists that these were mostly defunct. Some users with very large followings may see their follower count drop by as much as 10% as a result, the company said.
“We are removing accounts that were created via SMS as we no longer support this technology and because these accounts have a high risk of becoming compromised,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement provided to Mashable.
“As a result of this, some accounts may see a drop in followers. We want people to have confidence that their follower counts are meaningful, accurate and reflect active accounts on Twitter, and this is part of our ongoing work to ensure that.”