The Purge Continues! Twilio to Shutter Authy’s Desktop App

Twilio’s efforts to streamline its portfolio continue

The Purge Continues! Twilio to Shutter Authy's Desktop App
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Published: January 17, 2024

Charlie Mitchell

In August, Twilio will shut down the desktop app for Authy, its two-factor authentication (2FA) app.

As a result, Authy will be unavailable on Windows, macOS, and Linux desktop devices.

The only surviving devices will be smartphones and Macs with M1 or M2 silicon. Users of the latter may still download the iOS version of the app.

That app generates codes every 30 seconds, which users may leverage to sign into a linked account – adding a second security layer to the authentication process.

While the likes of Microsoft and Google now offer these tools, Authy’s desktop compatibility gave Twilio a significant market differentiator.

After all, with this feature, users could sign into their accounts via the computer without switching to their phones.

As such, it comes as a surprise that Twilio is pulling the plug on this capability. Yet, the giant has to make these difficult decisions as activist investors pressure the vendor to trim its portfolio.

Twilio made no bones about its motivation to streamline, stating on Authy’s website:

We made this difficult decision to sunset the Twilio Authy desktop apps in order to streamline our focus and provide more value on existing product solutions for which we see increasing demand.

Although Authy may still run on particular Macs, Twilio recommends switching to the mobile app, which automatically syncs to the desktop version.

Unfortunately, there is no export option for users who wish to switch to a rival 2FA app. Instead, they must disable 2FA on all their connected accounts before making the move.

Some had already transitioned to rival offerings after hackers broke into Authy last year via a phishing scheme that hooked in Twilio employees – and now many more will likely follow suit.

However, others will hang around, and those who do should note that Authy’s customer support center is now on Twilio’s website – yet another sign of the business’s ongoing consolidation.

The Purge Continues

Over the past 18 months, Twilio has waved goodbye to many solutions within its portfolio.

Examples include selling off its IoT arm, divesting its ValueFirst business, and shuttering Zipwhip – which it acquired for $850MN less than two years before.

Yet, despite all this – and three rounds of layoffs – the vendor still records losses of $100MN+ every quarter. As such, these acts may just be the opening salvos in a more cutthroat solutions cull.

Indeed, that is seemingly what activist investors are after, with reports suggesting one such firm – Legion Partners – wants Twilio to sell its entire data and applications (D&A) business. That includes Engage and Segment, amongst other solutions.

The vendor’s actions since have suggested this is a possibility. Those include moving its Flex CCaaS platform over to its communications business and announcing CEO Jeff Lawson’s departure.

Lawson led Twilio’s split into two separate businesses – communications and D&A – and seemed opposed to the move, bringing in lawyers to defend against activist investor influence.

Yet, his departure highlights an increasing activist investor presence at Twilio – and so may the decision to shut down Authy’s desktop app.

After all, Authy proved a significant success story for Lawson. He helped turn the business from a small Colombian start-up to a central player in the 2FA space.

As such, the demise of its desktop offering is quite the way for Twilio to usher in the post-Lawson era, in which profitability will likely come first.


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