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Creating Access Tokens

We intend to sunset the Programmable Chat API on July 25, 2022 to focus on the next generation of chat: the Twilio Conversations API. Find out about the EOL process. We have also prepared this Migration Guide to assist in the transition from Chat to Conversations.

In the last guide, we covered SDK client initialization mechanics and the need for a generated Access Token. This Access Token is the credential your SDK client endpoints must use to identify and authenticate themselves with the Chat Service.

This Token is generated on your server or backend as you authenticate your user and is then utilized by the Chat SDK client to authorize with the Chat Service.

Create an Access Token

On your server, we must decide, based on the token request that was sent to us, who the user is and what they should be allowed to do.

To figure out who the user is (their identity), you might use your existing login system, using session cookies, an API token, or whatever mechanism you use to secure API requests or pages today. Who the user is and how you authorize their use will vary from app to app.

If you determine that the user should indeed be allowed to access your Chat application, you will grant your user access to Chat by generating an Access Token as part of your authentication flow. You will then return the token to the user client for use in the Chat SDK.

When creating an Access Token for Programmable Chat, the following information is needed:

Twilio Account Sid

This is the Account Sid of your Twilio account and must be the account in which you have created your Programmable Chat Service. Manage your Chat Services.

Programmable Chat Service Sid

This is the Chat Service Sid where your Users, Channels, Messages and other chat related data resides. This is the Chat Service you grant the SDK client access to.

Twilio API Key Sid

This is the Sid of an API created for your Twilio Account, which is used to sign the Access Token cryptographically. You can create these API keys here.

Twilio API Secret

This is the secret part of the API Key above, also managed here.


The identity of your User. For example, For more details around Programmable Chat use of identity, please refer to User Identity & Access Tokens section.

We recommend following the standard URI specification and avoid the following reserved characters ! * ' ( ) ; : @ & = + $ , / ? % # [ ] for values such as identity and friendly name.


        Optional: TTL (Time To Live) Access Tokens are only valid for a period of time, in seconds. The default is 3600 seconds (1 hour), but you can adjust this to your needs up to a maximum of 24 hours.

        Once your client receives an Access Token from your server, you can initialize the Twilio Chat SDK and start sending and receiving messages, as covered in the previous guide.

        Next: Access Token Lifecycle

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        Need some help?

        We all do sometimes; code is hard. Get help now from our support team, or lean on the wisdom of the crowd by visiting Twilio's Community Forums or browsing the Twilio tag on Stack Overflow.


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