Elon Musk’s platform, X—once called Twitter—has improved a lot for users. Just recently, they added a new feature allowing Android users to make audio and video calls. This is a big step up for the app.
Rolling Out to Android Users
Initially launched for iOS users in October 2023, the feature is now making its way to Android. According to X’s development team, led by Enrique Barragan, Android users can expect the new feature to be available after a routine app update. However, the complete rollout across all Android devices might take some time. This update was first hinted at by CEO Linda Yaccarino in August 2023 and has since evolved into a fully integrated feature for both major mobile platforms.
Features and Access
The audio and video calling feature, embedded within the app, allows for seamless communication among users. However, it’s important to note that while any user can receive calls, only those subscribed to X Premium can initiate them. This distinction forms part of X’s strategy to encourage premium subscriptions, offering exclusive features to paying members. Premium subscriptions start at $3 per month for the “Basic” tier.
User Control and Privacy
Users have substantial control over the calling feature. Accessible via Settings > Privacy and Safety > Direct Messages, individuals can enable or disable audio and video calling. Furthermore, they can manage who is allowed to call them, with options including contacts from their address book, users they follow, or verified users with blue ticks.
Additional Features and Changes
X is not just stopping at voice and video calling. The platform aims to evolve into an “everything app,” with plans to introduce peer-to-peer payments and new AI-powered features like “show dissimilar posts.” This ambition reflects a broader vision to enhance user engagement and diversify functionality. Notably, X recently removed the ability for premium users to set NFTs as profile pictures, indicating a dynamic approach to feature management.
Advertising and Market Response
Despite these advancements, X faces challenges in retaining advertisers. Reports indicate a shift in advertising spending towards platforms like LinkedIn, especially after Elon Musk’s controversial comment to advertisers in November 2023. This shift underscores the volatile nature of the social media market and the challenges faced by platforms like X in maintaining advertiser relationships.
How to Use the New Calling Feature
The integration of voice and video calling into the direct messages section of the app means users can easily initiate or receive calls within a familiar interface. The process is straightforward, with options for muting, using speaker mode, switching cameras, and ending calls readily available. The feature’s design emphasizes user-friendliness and aligns with standard practices seen in other communication apps.
Turning Off the Feature
For users concerned about privacy or who prefer not to use this feature, disabling it is a simple process. Within the direct messages settings, users can toggle the audio and video calling option off, or adjust settings to limit who can call them. This flexibility is a nod to user privacy and control, allowing individuals to tailor their experience on the platform.
Future Prospects and Challenges
X is pushing ahead with big plans, but it’s not all smooth sailing. Adding audio and video calls is part of a larger plan to get users more involved and make money off the platform. But, X has to walk a fine line to keep innovating while protecting user’s privacy and keeping advertisers happy. How well X manages this will be key to its future success in the competitive social media landscape.
By rolling out audio and video calls, X is making strides toward Elon Musk’s dream of a do-it-all social media hub. It’s trying to make the platform better for users and hopes people will pay for more features. Yet, ad companies are playing it safe and watching how things turn out. As X grows and changes, we’ll all be watching to see the effect on its users and its place in the market. Stay tuned for updates about what X has in store. visit the official X website.