Elon Musk has been on a mission to transform X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) from what was once the world’s most successful microblogging platform into an “everything app”—a sort of one-stop shop of web services. In the course of this attempted transformation, Musk can brag of two primary accomplishments: A), losing the company a lot of money, and B) integrating a host of new features into the platform that nobody asked for. Said features have included YouTube-like video content, long form writing, live streaming, the specter of crypto payments and now, it appears, voice and video calls. For paying customers, that is.
Yes, this morning, as I rolled out of bed and rubbed sleep from my eyes, I reflexively engaged in the cursed ritual of unlocking my phone and checking X/Twitter to commence with a daily doom scroll. I was immediately greeted with an ominous message: “Audio and video calls are here!” When I followed up, sure enough, Musk had tweeted out additional (if quite limited) information about the new feature: “Early version of video & audio calling on X,” Musk said, referring the viewer to a screenshot that appeared to show how to set it up.
As far as can be divined, there is some sort of embryonic call feature in the works, though it’s not available to everyone, and a lot about it is still unclear. It would appear that only Premium subscribers have access to it. The site’s support page claims that the feature is currently only available on iOS but will soon be for Android as well. The page also says only Premium subscribers have the ability “to make audio and video calls.” That said, all users can apparently receive calls, though if you don’t want to receive them you can apparently tweak the Direct Message settings to avoid getting unwanted dials from the Blue Check crowd.
For the people who are, for some reason, paying Elon Musk to use the platform, some X users have posted how-to guides for activating the supposed feature. According to these folks, all you need to do to access the feature is to update your app. After that, you should head to Settings > Privacy & Safety > Direct Messages > Enable Audio & Video Calling.
“Still a beta product, but it is promising,” Musk commented on one user’s thread, in reference to the feature.
So, yeah, if you’re a Premium X user and you’ve always dreamed of video/voice chatting with folks via the platform, it appears that your wish is being granted?
Voice and video calls, while interesting, could present some interesting challenges to users if the feature isn’t handled delicately by the platform (privacy and access concerns could abound). So, basically, we don’t know much yet. As always with Musk, we’ll have to wait for his next Tweet to find out more.