Twitter quietly deletes millions of SMS-created accounts, a drop in followers

Twitter promptly disabled sending tweets via SMS for all but “a few locations.” Photo Credit: Twitter
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Summary: Some Twitter users with a large following may notice a drop in followers as high as 10 percent due to the deletion of the SMS-created accounts. 

It’s the end of the SMS era for Twitter and its users as the American social media giant erases this kind security threat technology.

The reports emerged on 27th  Monday, where Twitter officially announced it was turning off its Twitter via SMS service for the majority of the countries.

When Twitter launched, it was built around SMS communication technology.

The service primarily supported up to 140-character limit, tailored to text message size, and a user was meant to send and receive new tweets entirely over SMS.

“We’ve now turned this feature back on for a few locations that depend on SMS to Tweet. It remains turned off for the rest of the world.” Twitter tweeted.

“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.”  Twitter Support Confirmed.

This recent change for instance affects users who were still receiving tweets from other users via SMS.  

Complaints have been raised from some people who have been using SMS to read tweets. One business, Dans Deals, said it relied on the feature to alert readers to sales.

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey fell a victim of SMS hack after hackers gained access to his phone number, a point which gave them access to tweet from his account last year.

Twitter promptly disabled sending tweets via SMS for all but “a few locations.”

However, one additional piece of information regarding these Twitter changes was not previously announced, but has since been confirmed by Mashable: millions of inactive accounts that were created over SMS were removed from the platform.

Therefore, some Twitter users with a large following may notice a drop in followers as high as 10 percent due to the deletion of these SMS-created accounts. 

Twitter, since its inauguration has clearly evolved from ta basic SMS based platform, with the vast majority of users switching to posting and reading tweets via the website, mobile apps, and desktop applications.

“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. “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.”

Unfortunately, due to the fact that some of these accounts were set up long ago, without an email or other contact information, the company is unable to alert these users directly of the service changes.

In conclusion, Twitter isn’t completely done with text messages, though. The company will continue to utilize SMS for security-related purposes such as account verification and two-factor authentication.

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