Twitter’s latest move under Elon Musk is to charge a fee for using SMS messages for two-factor authentication. To avoid this fee, learn how to use Google Authenticator for Twitter’s two-factor authentication.
Twitter charges for SMS two-factor authentication
Beginning March 20, Twitter will begin requiring Twitter Blue to use two-factor authentication over SMS. The move was official announced today is certainly a big step. Twitter says it will simply disable two-factor authentication for anyone still using SMS keys and not paying for Blue from the March 20 deadline.
In a blog post, Twitter somewhat angles the change as a form of security, saying SMS-based authentication is “abused” by “bad actors.”
Unfortunately, while historically a popular form of 2FA, we have seen phone number-based 2FA being used – and abused – by bad actors. As such, starting today, we will no longer allow accounts to opt-in to the text/SMS method of 2FA unless they are Twitter Blue subscribers. Text messaging 2FA availability for Twitter Blue may vary by country and carrier.
However, Twitter will still allow two-factor authentication with the use of physical security keys or an authenticator app.
How to use Google Authenticator with Twitter
One of the apps you can use for Twitter two-factor authentication comes from Google.
Google Authenticator has been around for years and is an easy way to issue two-factor codes for a variety of different apps and services, and linking to Twitter is relatively easy too. The first step is to download Google Authenticator on your smartphone. The app is available on both Google Play for Android and the App Store for iOS. Next, access your Twitter account’s “Security & Account Access” settings. You can do that on the desktop Use this link. From there, use the security menu and select “Two-Factor Authentication.” Then select “Authenticator App” and click “Get Started” on the next popup.
From there, Twitter generates a QR code that you can scan with the Google Authenticator app. Once this QR code is scanned, your accounts will be linked and two-factor codes will appear in the authenticator app. When you log into Twitter, you’ll be prompted to enter the code the app is currently showing, which changes every 30 seconds.
If you’re currently using SMS for Twitter’s two-factor authentication, Google Authenticator is certainly a security step.
In addition to Google Authenticator, you can also use apps like 1Password, Authy, and more for these codes.
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