Will X new audio and video calls be a game changer to the app? (Image by Shutterstock)

Will X new audio and video calls be a game changer to the app? (Image by Shutterstock)

X video and audio calls are now a possibility

  • Elon Musk announced new video and audio call features on X.
  • It remains to be seen if the features will be made free to all users. 
  • X is not the only social media platform with such features. 

Almost all social media apps today enable free audio and video calls for their users. There are also apps that have been specifically designed to offer free audio and video calls. So when Elon Musk announced that X will be enabling audio and video calls for users, the first question many users had was – will the service be free for them to use or will they need to pay for it?

After all, since Musk took over Twitter, he’s made several huge changes to the app, with many of them involving payments for users. The biggest change is renaming Twitter to X. The new branding did cause controversy among some parties, especially since ‘X’ is often associated with pornographic content.

Yet, it didn’t deter Musk from implementing changes his way. Apart from the name change, there’s been a change in management and how the social media app operates as well. Musk’s main goal is to make X an everything app or super app. And he’s already on his way to achieving that.

Here are some of the major changes Musk has made to X since taking over.

  • Limiting the number of tweets users can read is a move Musk believes will encourage users to step away from the phone. As such, verified users can read 10,000 posts a day, unverified users get 1,000 posts, and new unverified users only get 500.
  • Next came subscription services. The famous blue tick on Twitter would now cost users US$8 a month on X. For businesses, the blue tick costs US$1,000 a month and US$50 for each affiliate or employee account.
  • X also rolled out advertisement revenue sharing with content creators. Creators will now be able to set up ad revenue sharing and creator subscriptions independently. To be eligible for this, content creators would need to be a subscriber to Blue Verified or be a Verified Organization as well as have at least 15 million impressions on cumulative posts within the past three months or have at least 500 followers.
  • Payments features are also slated for introduction to X in the near future. In a tweet, newly appointed X CEO Linda Yaccarino said that the X service would be a “global marketplace for ideas, goods, services and opportunities.” This would include payments and banking alongside other forms of media.
  • Another recent modification on X involves removing headlines from news story links. Musk tweeted that this would make posts look better, however, not all news organizations are impressed with it. At the same time, the changes also raised concerns about increased misinformation and disinformation being published on the platform.
Will video and audio calls on X be free?

Will video and audio calls on X be free? (Source – X)

Free video and audio calls on X?

In his journey to making X an everything app, Musk unveiled that the platform will soon be offering video and audio calls to users. But will it be free?

X CEO Linda Yaccarino demonstrates a video call on the platform.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino demonstrates a video call on the platform. (Source – X)

While X has yet to release an official statement regarding the updates, several users have already observed the changes on their platforms. According to a report by The Verge, some users have received a notification when opening the app, stating: “Audio and video calls are here!”

The app also displays a new “Enable audio and video calling” toggle within the app’s settings, The Verge reported. It allows users to “turn the feature on and then select who you’re comfortable using it with.” It also includes options to allow audio and video calls from only people in the user’s address book, people they follow, verified users, or all three. Users can then make a call by opening a DM with another user, selecting the phone icon in the top right corner of the screen, and choosing an audio or video call.

While the addition is intriguing, many are skeptical about using video and audio calls on X due to privacy concerns. While video and audio calls on X will most likely be encrypted, users may still have a hard time trusting the app for such services.

Not the first social media app to offer the features 

Video and audio calls on social media platforms are not something new. In fact, the features unveiled by X have already been present in other social media apps for some time. What makes to option on X interesting is how it could lead to users spending more time on the platform.

According to a survey conducted in June 2023, adults in the United States spent more time per day on TikTok than on any other leading social media platform. Overall, respondents reported spending an average of 53.8 minutes per day on the social video app. Ranking second and third were YouTube and Twitter, with an average of 48 minutes and 34 minutes spent on the platforms per day, respectively.

Meanwhile, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp have introduced video and audio features gradually since their inception. More importantly, these services have been and remain free for users. WhatsApp and Facebook are currently the most popular social media platforms for video and audio calls. WhatsApp started as a chat messaging app and eventually introduced audio and video features. Facebook also launched similar features through its Messenger service.

Over time, WhatsApp improved its video and audio calls, enabling users to have conversations with multiple users. It remains to be seen if X could implement similar features in the future. For now, however, Musk’s vision of transforming X into an everyday app appears to be progressing as planned.

X is not the only social media platform with audio and video calls. (Image by Shutterstock)

X is not the only social media platform with audio and video calls. (Image by Shutterstock)