It looks like X, formerly known as Twitter, is really becoming the “everything app.” Elon Musk, the social media company’s owner, said video and audio calls will soon be made available on the platform.
In an X post on Thursday, Musk also named some of the feature’s traits. Audio and video calls will work on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC, and no phone number will be needed. Musk also called X “the effective global address book.”
X’s owner didn’t disclose the specific launch date of the feature. However, Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, already said in mid-August that the feature would soon be rolled out.
“Soon you’ll be able to make video chat calls without having to give your phone number to anyone on the platform,” Yaccarino said in an interview with CNBC, adding that the company also plans to enable payments between “users, friends, and creators.”
X’s designer Andrew Conway also shared screenshots of the feature in action back in July. The audio and video call options are added in the top left of the “Direct Messages” screen, and the interface resembles that of most messaging apps.
Ever since Musk’s acquisition of the platform last year, there have been numerous changes on X.
Long-form videos, articles, and the ability to subscribe to favorite creators – who can get paid if they’re popular enough – have been introduced. It remains to be seen if video and audio calls are going to be only available to premium subscribers.
This is seemingly another step towards Musk’s vision of X becoming the “everything app,” where users can chat, call, and pay each other for various services.
The concept is tremendously popular in China. Living without WeChat, the so-called super app developed by Tencent, the Chinese tech giant, is said to be near-impossible.
Commonly described as a smartphone messaging platform, WeChat is actually more like several apps rolled into one. It’s used for messaging, social media, payments, subscriptions, utility bills, food deliveries, plane and train tickets, ride hailing, and much more.
In essence, Musk wants X to become a WeChat for the West. Last year, a leaked transcript of Musk’s first meeting with his new employees, posted on Vox, showed that he was a fan of the Chinese app.
“You basically live on WeChat in China because it’s so useful and so helpful to your daily life. And I think if we could achieve that, or even close to that with Twitter, it would be an immense success,” Musk said.
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