Video, audio calling features coming to X on iPhones first, but you will have to pay

The video and audio calling features on X, which were first announced on August 31, could arrive soon on iPhones, but they will not be free.

| Updated on: Sep 26 2023, 13:24 IST
Elon Musk says blocking feature on X ‘makes no sense’ to him
1/7 Elon Musk, the CEO of X (formerly known as Twitter), has tweeted that he wants to eliminate the platform's 'block' feature. Musk made this decision in response to a query from a user, where he sought user opinions on the preference between muting and blocking. (Bloomberg)
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2/7 In a recent post on X (formerly Twitter), Musk clarified that the blocking feature will be discontinued, except for direct messages, while muting will remain an available option. (Bloomberg)
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3/7 On Friday, Musk shared a message, stating, "The 'block' feature is being completely removed, except for its use in direct messages. It simply doesn't make sense," commented the billionaire. (REUTERS)
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4/7 Muting vs. blocking: According to a report by Bloomberg, muting an account will still allow users to avoid seeing posts from that account. However, muted accounts will retain the ability to respond to the user's posts, share them with their own followers, add commentary, and send direct messages. (AFP)
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5/7 User concerns: Blocking, which has long served as a fundamental security measure on X, has raised concerns among users about potential increases in online harassment following its removal. (Pexels)
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6/7 One user reacted to Musk's tweet and replied, "Don’t go there. No one is entitled to other people’s posts. People should be able to block whoever they want". (Pexels)
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7/7 A series of transformations: Some of the significant alterations implemented under Musk's leadership include substantial workforce reductions, replacing the traditional verification program with the $8 per month Twitter Blue subscription, rebranding the company from Twitter to X, and introducing new features such as live streaming. (AP)
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X to get video, and audio calling features, but users will have to pay for it. (AFP)

Since Elon Musk's acquisition of X (formerly Twitter), the platform has been going through a myriad of changes. From the removal of legacy verification and the introduction of X Premium to the big rebranding campaign, the Twitter chief is certainly not holding back from bringing his dream of making X a “global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities” to reality. While the microblogging platform offers multiple ways through which users can connect with each other, such as DMs and Spaces, now it is set to rival FaceTime with video and audio calling features. This functionality could arrive soon on the platform, according to a new code seen on X app. And most importantly, it will come at a cost. Yes, likely for premium subscribers.

X to get video, audio calling features

In an X post, Elon Musk announced that “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.” This feature is similar to the in-app calling feature that Facebook has for its Messenger platform. While no tentative launch date for the same was announced, a recent code found in the X app for iPhone has revealed that it could come soon.

In a code seen by code diver @aaronp613, it has been revealed that X could soon bring video and audio calling features that would rival apps like FaceTime. However, it will reportedly be a premium feature available only to those who subscribe to X Premium, as per an iMore report. A string in the code states, “Audio and video calls are a premium feature. Subscribe to get access.” As of now, the presence of this feature has only been reported for iPhone users since it was spotted in the code of the X app for iPhone, but it is expected to offer cross-platform functionality.

What about security?

Since these video and audio calls on X won't require a phone number, the question of encryption arises. A user had commented on Musk's post, asking about the same. 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”.

At a time when platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, and more, offer fully-encrypted calling, could the lack of it put off users from using video and audio calling on X? And what about paying for the service? That is a bummer, indeed!

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First Published Date: 26 Sep, 10:54 IST