‘Global address book’: X to introduce video and voice calls, Musk says


Elon Musk said Thursday that video and voice calls are coming to X, previously known as Twitter, a feature he first teased earlier this year amid his push to remake the social media platform into a so-called “everything app.”
A worker removes letters from the Twitter sign that is posted on the exterior of Twitter headquarters on July 24. Image: Getty
Key Takeaways
  • In a post overnight, Musk said “Video & audio calls” were “coming to X,” without giving a launch date.
  • Musk said the feature will work on all major platforms including iOS, Android, PC and Mac and “no phone number is needed.”
  • The X owner claimed this will turn the platform into “the effective global address book,” although he did not specify how the feature will work and what safeguards are in place to avoid potential abuse.
  • The addition of voice and video calling puts Twitter directly in competition with the likes of Apple’s Facetime and Meta’s WhatsApp—which boasts more than 2.7 billion monthly active users.

Musk claimed that the factors outlined by him make video and audio calling on X a unique proposition. This is not entirely correct because the features Musk boasts as unique are also available on Telegram. The app allows users to join without a real phone number, works on all the same platforms as X and also allows users to search for people’s accounts using their names or handles.

What We Don’t Know

Whether Musk will restrict this feature to X Blue subscribers who pay the platform $8 per month as he has done with other new features. After months of promises, X rolled out encrypted messaging in May, but the feature is only restricted to users with verified accounts. It is also unclear what Musk means when he says “no phone number is needed,” or if the ability to make calls will only be restricted to accounts that follow each other.

Key Background

Voice and video calling are among a bevy of features that Musk has promised to add to X as part of his goal to transform it into an “everything app.” Since the start of the year, X has added new features including long-form tweets, longer videos, monetization features for creators and, most recently, a job listing feature for verified companies.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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