X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk has been announcing new features on the platform on almost a weekly basis, in a bid to turn it into an ‘everything app’. Just last week, X Hiring, a feature that allows organizations to post job listings on their profile, was being rolled out to users. Now, Musk has announced yet another new feature for the platform — audio and video calls. While in-app calling is not a revolutionary feature in 2023, X has always stayed away from it even when rival apps added the functionality. But finally, the microblogging platform has also added the feature.
Announcing the feature, Musk posted, “Video & audio calls coming to X. Works on iOS, Android, Mac & PC. No phone number needed. X is the effective global address book . That set of factors is unique”. Based on the description, it seems pretty similar to the feature Facebook has for its Messenger platform and it will likely work just as any other in-app calling feature.
One user enquired whether these calls would be encrypted or not. Musk replied, “Not at first, but we will add the ability to turn encryption on or off dynamically. There is necessarily a slight lag for encryption. Most of the time, encryption isn’t important and quality of call is better”.
One unique aspect of the calling feature is its universality in terms of deployment. Even today, you cannot make calls from WhatsApp web app. Similarly, other social media platforms also have some limitations. However, X intends to add this feature on all platforms from the get-go, which would make it quite convenient.
However, the question of encryption will be a tricky one to solve. Today, encryption has become essential for many people. And at a time when WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, and Instagram all offer fully encrypted calling support, X not doing so might put off some users.
The availability date of the feature has not been revealed by Musk. It can arrive next week or the next month, but considering past trends, it should not take too long. We do not know whether this feature will only be provided for the X Blue subscribers or whether it will be available to all users irrespectively.
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