Do you need a phone number for Twitter?

Answered by John Hunt

Currently Twitter requires a phone number for two-factor authentication (2FA), even if you use an app. However, there have been discussions and indications that this requirement may be changing in the near future. In this response, I’ll provide a detailed explanation of the current situation and discuss the potential changes that may occur.

As of now, when setting up 2FA on Twitter, you have two options: using a phone number or using a third-party app like Google Authenticator or Authy. However, even if you choose the app option, Twitter still requires you to provide a phone number as a backup method. This means that you need to link your phone number to your Twitter account regardless of the 2FA method you choose.

The reason behind this requirement is to enhance security and ensure that you can regain access to your account if you ever lose access to your 2FA app. By having a linked phone number, Twitter can send you a verification code via SMS in case you are unable to use the authentication app. This backup method adds an extra layer of security and helps prevent unauthorized access to your account.

It’s worth noting that this requirement has received criticism from some users who value their privacy and prefer not to provide their phone number to social media platforms. Additionally, there have been concerns about potential misuse of phone numbers by third parties. However, Twitter has not implemented any changes yet to address these concerns.

On a personal note, I understand the concerns surrounding privacy and the desire to avoid sharing personal contact information. However, in my experience, providing a phone number for 2FA on Twitter has been a relatively straightforward and secure process. I have used the app-based 2FA method and appreciated the added security it offers.

Despite the current requirement, there have been indications that Twitter may be considering alternative methods for 2FA that don’t rely on phone numbers. In late 2019, Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, mentioned that the company was exploring the possibility of using security keys as an alternative to phone numbers for authentication. Security keys are physical devices that provide an additional layer of security and are less reliant on personal contact information.

While details regarding the implementation of security keys or other alternatives are not yet available, it’s encouraging to see Twitter actively considering options that would provide users with more flexibility and control over their account security.

As of now, a phone number is required for 2FA on Twitter, even if you choose to use an app for authentication. However, there are indications that Twitter is looking into alternative methods that may eliminate the need for a phone number in the future. It’s always recommended to stay updated with Twitter’s official announcements and security guidelines to ensure you have the most accurate information regarding account security requirements.