Elon Musk, the CEO of X (formerly known as Twitter), has made an exciting announcement. X is now offering an early version of video and audio calling on its platform. This move is in line with Musk’s vision of transforming X into an “everything app” that encompasses various functionalities such as online payments, news, and food delivery.
X, formerly Twitter, has introduced a video and audio calling feature, taking a step towards becoming an “everything app” in alignment with Elon Musk’s vision.
Currently, not all users have access to this new feature, and X has yet to provide a timeline for its widespread rollout. Additionally, it remains uncertain whether audio and video calls will be restricted to X Premium subscribers, as revealed by tech veteran Chris Messina’s findings in X’s code.
One of the challenges X might face is ensuring call screening capabilities for its users. The early access users have reported options to allow calls from verified users, people they follow, and individuals in their address book. However, questions around how the feature will work for the wider user base still remain.
Since Elon Musk’s takeover, X no longer responds to requests for comment, making it difficult to gain further insights into the reasoning behind introducing this feature and why it is happening now. Musk’s desire to transform X into a platform akin to China’s WeChat, which serves as a central hub for digital transactions, has been evident. However, it is important to note that Musk’s overarching focus for X has always been to create a financial services app.
Originally known as X.com, the platform dates back to 1999 when it was a precursor to PayPal. Back then, Musk envisioned X.com as an all-in-one financial hub, offering banking services, digital purchases, checking accounts, credit cards, investments, and loans. Hence, integrating video and audio calling into X might not align with its original financial services-oriented vision. The idea of receiving phone calls on a social media platform primarily used for consuming information rapidly might be perceived as incongruous, especially if these calls are initiated by random verified X users.
However, this move could potentially be an attempt by Musk to create stickiness within X, similar to what other successful platforms like Uber and Amazon have done. Uber started as a ride-hail service and expanded into food delivery, while Amazon leveraged products like Alexa to drive additional revenue. In the case of X, users might initially be drawn in by features like engaging content and live Spaces but may choose to stay for the convenience of internet-enabled calls, long-form posts, video content, and even the allure of having a high-yield savings account. As these features are likely to be exclusive to subscribers, they could become a revenue driver for X if successful.
However, the ultimate success of X’s expanded offerings hinges on Musk’s ability to execute his broader plans effectively. It is not just a technical challenge but also a matter of navigating regulatory compliance, as the U.S. has stricter regulations on tech companies, aiming to prevent one firm from monopolizing the internet.