X will soon add a feature that's about as alien to the original premise of Twitter as tact is to Elon Musk. It has been confirmed that the social media network will be getting video calling in the near future.
After a tease posted on the platform by X designer Andrea Conway, which simply said "Just called someone on X", company CEO Linda Yaccarino told CNBC that X users will soon be able to have video chats through the service.
"Soon you’ll be able to make video chat calls without having to give your phone number to anyone on the platform," she said (via TechCrunch).
just called someone on X 🤯🤯🤯🤯August 9, 2023
It's not yet clear whether the new feature will be exclusive to X Blue subscribers or open to everyone.
The move is a further step to transform the network into the "everything app" reportedly envisaged by Musk when he originally bought Twitter for $44 billion (£34.62 billion).
His plans also allegedly include adding a payment system similar to the PayPal service he owned in the early 2000s. At the time, he tried to change that company's name to X.com too, but was thwarted and eventually ousted by the board there.
While video calling will be well received by many on
Maybe it's a pre-emptive strike in the battle with Meta's Threads. Maybe Musk and the X team expect the rival app to integrate more with WhatsApp in future, much like it's doing with Instagram.
We certainly suspect that there will be more to come from X in the coming months, to fend off its potentially biggest competitor. Threads launched with a fairly bare offering, but is also rapidly adding features to bring it up to speed and regain the millions of users it attracted initially.
Video calling might help X keep one step ahead – even though it plays at odds with the network's original core values.