Elon Musk’s X To Offer Audio, Video Calling

Elon Musk has announced another major change to X (formerly known as Twitter), as he continues to expand the platform’s capabilities.

In a tweet, Musk revealed that X plans to launch video and audio calls, without the need for a phone number.

This no phone number option is notable, as it could potentially move X one step beyond the likes of the WhatsApp mobile app, which requires an active phone number to set up a WhatsApp profile – tablet users typically have to utilise WhatsApp Web.

Video, audio calls

Indeed, the ability of a mobile app to make video and audio calls without a telephone number, is more in line with an older messaging platform such as Skype.

WhatsApp however has been updated its messaging platform and recently announced that it will allow users to send and receive high definition (HD) photos, and soon even HD videos.

But now Elon Musk tweeted that X would be updated with video and audio calling, but he failed to give timeline for the launch.

“Video & audio calls coming to X,” he posted, saying it will work iOS, Android, Mac & PC, and that no phone number needed.

“X is the effective global address book,” he added, “that set of factors is unique.”

Timeframes for Elon Musk can be a fluid thing, as part of his routine of aggressively hyping of new features.

For example in late 2016 Musk reportedly promised Tesla fans a self-driving car that’s capable of driving from Los Angeles to New York without “the need for a single touch” by the end of 2017.

Then in 2019, Musk raised billions of dollars for Tesla by promising investors the company would have 1 million “robotaxi ready” cars on the road by the end of 2020.

Increased competition

But Elon Musk is pushing hard to deliver major changes at Twitter.

Last month he moved to fulfill his long-term ambition to turn Twitter into the X everything app, by officially renaming Twitter as X.

Prior to that Musk had changed the name of the Twitter business to X Corp in April, and had said the rebrand “should have been done a long time ago”.

Musk has been seeking to try and turn Twitter into a replica of the Tencent’s WeChat app in China, that incorporates different services such as messaging, social media, food orders, and payments etc into a single app.

Doing so has involved a high number of controversial changes for Twitter, with Elon Musk admitting that running Twitter has been a painful experience, when he confirmed that 80 percent of its workforce has been terminated since his takeover.

Musk’s X is also facing competition from the likes of recently launched Threads app from Meta Platforms, which is struggling to hold onto users, despite a big surge after its launch.

Competition is also being posed by the likes of Mastodon and Bluesky.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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