Social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, is set to unveil a new feature that will enable audio and video calls among users and their contacts, without them having to share phone numbers.
In a statement, X Executive Chairman Elon Musk, who also owns the platform, said that the new video and audio call functionality will be universally accessible to all X users, including iOS and Android device owners, along with desktop users.
"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," Musk said in the statement.
Reports indicate that the new features will be available within the Direct Message (DM) tab, with the upper right corner of the screen being the designated position for the video calling option.
Word about the new changes started circulating in July when X’s designer Andrea Conway revealed that she had just called someone on X.
The designer shared screenshots of the new DM menu on Twitter, showcasing the video calling option which immediately triggered conversations among tech enthusiasts and online users.
A day later, X CEO Linda Yacarino, in an interview with CNBC confirmed the planned rollout observing that the changes were in line with Musk's plan to make X an 'everything app'.
“Soon you’ll be able to make video chat calls without having to give your phone number to anyone on the platform,” the Chief Executive said.
The former advertising executive also revealed that the company was planning to introduce other features like creator subscriptions and payments.
At the time, Musk did not comment on the issue, merely hinting at making X an all-encompassing application like WeChat which is widely used in China.
Musk has harboured a longstanding interest in overseeing creation of an app that will enable users to pay bills, chat, make food orders, book plane tickets. The billionaire wants to mould X in line with this vision.
“You basically live on WeChat in China because it’s so usable and helpful to daily life, and I think if we can achieve that, or even get close to that at Twitter, it would be an immense success,” Musk stated.
However, critics poked holes into his plans saying WeChat’s success as an everything app in China did not mean that the success would be replicated in the United States.