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Twitter May Be Testing an Encrypted Direct Messaging Feature

May 8, 2018, 10:15 AM UTC

Amidst ongoing concerns about privacy in social media—including most recently a revelation that a bug had left some Twitter users’ passwords stored in plain text—the social media company may be exploring an option to allow users to send encrypted direct messages.

Jane Manchun Wong, a computer science student, recently noticed a feature called “Secret Conversation” in the Twitter Android application package (APK). According to TechCrunch, APKs “often contain code for unlaunched features that companies are quietly testing or will soon make available.”

The feature, if released, would reportedly allow users to privately share information in a way similar to other encrypted messaging apps like Signal, Telegram, or even WhatsApp. The end-to-end encryption scrambles content so that the messages are only able to be read by the sender and receiver and prevents interception by third-parties.

The move comes more than a year after whistleblower Edward Snowden publicly asked Twitter to make such a feature available on the service, which CEO Jack Dorsey called “reasonable and something we’ll think about.”

While the feature now appears to have been built, it is unclear if or when it will be officially launched.