Twitter (X) adds audio and video calls, there’s a great use-case for them if you think about it

Leonard Sengere Avatar

When Elon Musk said he wanted to make Twitter the “Everything app,” we could not be sure what he meant. Did he mean a super app just like WeChat? We still aren’t sure what he envisions for the platform but we are starting to see it take shape.

The first thing was renaming it “X” since it wouldn’t be just a microblogging platform like Twitter was. Was discarding the billions in brand value that “Twitter” held wise? – who can say, but here we are.

X is now more than just a microblogging platform, there’s plenty of macroblogging on the site now. Everywhere you look, you see posts longer than the average blog post on X and all those people have to pay Elon a little something for that pleasure.

For links that try to take people off the X platform, there has always been the built-in browser. You can surf the web from right within X, provided someone shared a link to it on X.

There’s also Elon’s own AI chatbot called Grok. It’s still in beta but is X’s answer to ChatGPT. You can see it right there in the middle on X. As you would expect, with Elon on a monetisation drive, you have to pay to use Grok.

Grok is designed to answer questions with humour and even take on “spicy” questions rejected by other AI systems. You are familiar with how most AI chatbots refuse to answer some questions for fear of offending you. Not so with Grok, if you ask, you get an answer.

We are used to having Spaces now. It allows users to participate in live audio conversations, kind of like podcasts or online radio shows.

And now…

Audio and video calls

We knew it was coming, it’s here now. You can make calls on X now. You simply go to the DM page, and you can initiate the call from the chat.

Very few are excited to hear this if we’re being honest. We already have multiple apps that allow us to call our friends on the internet for free. Here in Zimbabwe, WhatsApp calls and Zoom are king but Messenger is right behind them.

So, pray tell, why would I be excited to see X offer calls? Surprisingly, there are some good reasons why calls on X are a cool idea.

The ability to call people without exchanging numbers like on WhatsApp is a good one. We recently talked about Signal testing a similar feature where you can give people a username and then have them contact you using that, with no numbers exchanged.

It’s baked into X. There are a number of characters I interact with on X that I could take calls from but we’re not close enough to exchange numbers. An X call would be great for that.

That’s the thing, X is a social media site where you can have interactions with people you wouldn’t meet in person or give your number to. Being able to call such people is a positive for me.

X says you’ll need to have messaged an account at least once before they’re able to call you. You can choose to allow calls from people in your address book only, or people you follow only too. So, there is no danger of the feature becoming a nuisance.

I tested out both audio and video calls and it worked great. Yes, there are fewer features than you see on WhatsApp, for example, but for a quick, no-fuss call, it works great.

I don’t know if X will succeed in its super-app ambitions. However, I’m here for the ride. It’s a shame that most features are being hidden behind a paywall these days.

I’m not paying for X anytime soon so I’m glad calls are free.

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  1. LTM

    @Leonard Sengere you make good content here but you repeatedly refer to our much beloved X platform as Twitter and to be honest it posses me off…why not use X ….we are all familiar with the X word now…..

    No offence Mr Sengere

    1. Anonymous

      – ‘Twitter (X) adds audio…’ Having both in the title is just good SEO, name recognition and easy bundling of new and old content for recommendations and topic. It’s in the same spirit as X not turning off the Twitter URL.
      – ‘When Elon Musk said he wanted to make Twitter…’ This is just a factual statement as X was not a thing.
      – ‘…microblogging platform like Twitter was…’ Used to contrast the very different goals during these 2 eras.
      – ‘…brand value that “Twitter” held…’ Twitter was indeed a brand with equity and is materially different from the X brand especially when addressing how the two compare.

      The rest of the article is just X. So, that’s 18 mentions of X vs 4 of Twitter. Not a bad ratio given the context, in my opinion.

  2. Zett

    What is now left is an x phone, that connects directly to starlink

    1. Longhirst

      You just might need to downgrade to the iPhone X

  3. Black Face

    I’m still on Twitter

    1. Anon

      So, is everyone on X

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