Twitter quietly deletes millions of accounts from the old text message days

It’s the end of the SMS era for Twitter.

On Monday, Twitter officially it was turning off its Twitter via SMS service for the majority of its global user base. 

This recent change affects users who were still receiving tweets from other users via SMS. The social media company had already the ability to tweet via text message after its CEO Jack Dorsey was hacked last year.

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.

Back in the early days of the microblogging service, the platform was largely built around sending and receiving messages through mobile text messages. It has clearly evolved from that since, with the vast majority of users switching to posting and reading tweets via the website, mobile apps, and desktop applications.

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

However, other than that, the changes appear to be minimal. These accounts were simply receiving tweets from users they signed up for SMS notifications for. Besides adding to the follower count of those users, they did not exist on the platform. These users did not have a profile or an ability to sign into or engage with Twitter.

The company some of its partners of the changes that occurred on April 16. Unfortunately, due to the way these accounts were set up many years ago, without an email or other contact information, Twitter is unable to notify these users directly of the service changes.

“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.”

In addition to these removals, Twitter is those who took advantage of the SMS notifications to sign up for push notifications, browser notifications, and other similar yet more modern services supposed by the platform.

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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