Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, suggested that the social media platform would provide encrypted direct messaging on Wednesday as part of his intentions to improve communication tools. Late on Tuesday, Musk claimed in a tweet that the non-public messages users send to one another known as direct messages, or DMs, have changed in the most recent version of the Twitter app. The CEO announced that users can now respond to any message in a DM thread—not just the most recent—and express their feelings with any emoji. Previously, users could only respond with certain emojis to the most recent message in a direct messaging thread.
Musk added that Wednesday “should” see the release of encrypted direct messages. Only the sender and the recipient can read messages that have been encrypted. Theoretically, neither Twitter nor Musk would have access to direct messages sent between individuals. Musk tweeted, “The acid test is that even with a gun to my head, I could not see your DMs.” In recent years, as users have become increasingly concerned with privacy, encrypted messaging services have become more popular.
Musk noted that Twitter will soon include voice and video calls so users may “talk to people anywhere in the world” without providing them with a phone number. Previous CEOs of Twitter haven’t given the development of the direct message function much thought since the service’s start. Musk, though, has repeatedly hinted that he wants to turn Twitter into a “everything app,” including chat and financial services.
Twitter’s newest features Musk’s commitments are not always kept on schedule. He said in February that Twitter would roll out a tool that would allow platform builders to receive a portion of advertising revenue. That has not yet happened.