X, formerly Twitter, is to get video calling as part of ongoing efforts to turn the platform into a so-called “everything app” offering a broad range of services.
X CEO Linda Yaccarino announced the news during an interview with CNBC on Thursday.
“Soon you’ll be able to make video chat calls without having to give your phone number to anyone on the platform,” Yaccarino told CNBC’s Sara Eisen.
With pretty much every social media platform already offering video calls, it makes sense for X to finally join the party. But whether people take to the feature remains to be seen.
X has been experiencing great turbulence after Musk acquired the platform for $44 billion in October, and Yaccarino was hired in June to steady the ship. But that’s not all, as the former NBCUniversal executive has also been tasked with transforming X into an everything app, something Musk has long talked about.
The transition began in earnest last month when the company changed its name from Twitter to X.
“The rebrand represented really a liberation from Twitter,” Yaccarino said. “A liberation that allowed us to evolve past a legacy mindset and thinking. And to reimagine how everyone, how everyone on Spaces who’s listening, everybody who’s watching around the world. It’s going to change how we congregate, how we entertain, how we transact all in one platform.”
Introducing video calls is a small part of what’s coming, with other features set to include, for example, the ability to make payments between users, friends, and creators on the platform.
X has also started to allow users to monetize their shared content, while other features could conceivably include things like online shopping and banking, with the overall aim to simplify common tasks by offering them within a single platform.
But not everyone is happy about such apps. Privacy campaigners, for example, have concerns about a single platform holding so much data about individual users, which could result in greater exposure in the event of a security breach.
China’s WeChat, for example, has made a success of the everyday app. Yaccarino is hoping she can do the same for X.