X, formerly known as Twitter, has been promised to get an audio and video calls feature. Last month, Elon Musk, who took over the social media platform in October last year, had tweeted that a voice and video calling feature was coming to X, confirming that calls would work on iOS, Android, Mac & PC and would not require a phone number. The much-awaited audio and video calls feature, however, might not be available to all X users. According to leaked screenshots of part of X’s code that pertain to the feature, only X Premium subscribers could have access to audio and video calls.
Investor Chris Messina posted screenshots of X’s code on rival app Threads (first spotted by TechCrunch), which suggests that users could be able to take audio and video calls from people in their address book, people they follow, and Verified users. The screenshot suggests that the feature would allow users to opt in or out and decide who to receive calls from. “Take messaging to the next level with audio and video calls. Turn the feature on and then select who you’re comfortable using it with,” the feature’s description says in the code screenshot.
More interestingly, a second screenshot hints that the feature could be a paid service as part of the X Premium subscription. “Audio and video calls are a premium feature. Subscribe to get access,” and “Subscribe to Premium to call,” the code appears to read under the section ‘when someone tries to DM someone and hits their rate limit.’
X Premium, that launched as Twitter Blue, adds a host of features for paying subscribers, including the verification badge, reduced number of ads on the feed, longer posts, and the ability to edit posts. On the Web, X Premium costs $8 per month or $84 per year (Rs. 650/month or Rs. 6,800/year). On both iOS and Android, the subscription costs $11 a month or $114.99 a year (Rs. 900 a month or Rs. 9,400 a year).
Musk intends to transform X into an “everything app” in the mould of China’s WeChat, offering social networking, calling and messaging, and even in-app payments. The Tesla CEO has also sought to monetize services on X. In a recent meeting with Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk reportedly said that X would charge its users a small monthly fee to use the platform. Musk said moving towards a monthly payment system could counter bots from amplifying hate speech on the platform.