X (formerly Twitter) is transforming into an “everything app” and the latest edition has been confirmed to be video calls. Earlier this week, CEO Linda Yaccarino confirmed that video calls are coming to the Elon Musk-owned social media site.
“Soon you’ll be able to make video chat calls without having to give your phone number to anyone on the platform,” Yaccarino said in an interview with CNBC. Ahead of this reveal, X designer Andrea Conway posted, “just called someone on X,” hinting at the new feature.
Last year in October, Musk posted about his plans on Twitter, “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.” Before this, in May 2022, he had indicated looking for inspiration from Tencent's WeChat, a Chinese social media app that encompasses a myriad of services such as messaging and video chatting, video games, photo sharing, ride services, food delivery, banking, and shopping, according to a report in Business Insider.
After officially rebranding Twitter to X last month, Yaccarino, in a series of posts, had said that X refers to the future of “unlimited interactivity,” focused on audio, video, messaging, and payments to create a global marketplace. "Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine,” she added. She also hinted at X going the WeChat way in the posts, stating that there is no limit to Twitter’s transformation and X will be “the platform that can deliver, well….everything.”
In the interview with CNBC, Yaccarino spoke about the essential role of real-time interactions within the rebranded X platform. “At the heart of the rebrand, X, we need to keep our minds open that it’s developing into this global town square that is fueled by free expression where the public gathers in real-time,” she said, as reported by Business Insider.
However, there are many questions about X’s new feature. If it does launch a video-calling app, how different will it be from the existing ones such as Zoom or Google Meet? Will it be available for all or only for the Twitter Blue subscribers? What will be the data protection policy?
Currently, data protection concerns regarding video calls are in the news as Zoom sparked worries by changing its terms and services. Under the new terms, Zoom claimed the right to use your video, audio, and chat data to train artificial intelligence (AI) programs, according to a report in the Associated Press. After backlash, the company clarified by adding a line that the data would not be shared without consent. It will be interesting to see how X, which has been in a state of flux since Musk’s takeover, will address these privacy concerns when it launches its video-calling feature.