CEO of X (formerly Twitter) confirms video calls are coming

Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and partnerships at NBC Universal Media LLC, speaks during a panel session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 23 - 26. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of X (formerly known as Twitter), has officially announced the forthcoming introduction of video chat functionality to the platform.

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“In the near future, users will have the capability to engage in video chat calls without the need to disclose their phone numbers to other platform users,” she disclosed. This strategic move aligns with Yaccarino and her team’s ambitious vision of transforming X into an all-encompassing application, offering extended video content, transaction capabilities, and creator subscriptions.

This announcement comes on the heels of a somewhat enigmatic post by X designer Andrea Conway earlier this week. Her message, “Just called someone on X,” accompanied by four exploding-head emojis, left room for interpretation regarding whether these calls were voice or video-based. However, recent events suggest she was indeed referring to video calls.

The rationale behind introducing video calls on X is not immediately apparent, given the already saturated video chat market featuring established players like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Apple FaceTime. Yet, Yaccarino and her collaborator Musk view X’s evolution beyond its Twitter origins. They envision the platform as a real-time virtual town square, encompassing media, communication, and payments.

Yaccarino elaborated on X’s transformation, highlighting its role as a global town square fueled by free expression, where real-time interactions form the foundation of its vibrancy. This seamless interface encapsulates X’s essence as it diversifies into a multifaceted platform.

X’s expansion into new realms began with long-form videos, as evidenced by the introduction of the Twitter Blue perk. Subscribers now have the privilege to upload videos up to two hours long. This move was embraced by Apple, which utilized this feature to showcase its series “Silo,” releasing the entire first episode on the platform. Moreover, X has initiated payments to content creators with substantial followings, effectively generating income for these individuals. One user claimed to have received $24,000 through this initiative.

Yaccarino reaffirmed X’s progression as a payment platform, addressing the ongoing discourse surrounding this feature. She emphasized the potential for payments between friends and creators, underscoring the shift away from Twitter’s legacy mindset. This liberation has facilitated the reimagination of congregating, entertainment, and transactions on a single, cohesive platform.

In the grand scheme of X’s evolution, the integration of video chat capabilities may appear as a surprising addition. However, it’s emblematic of X’s larger transformation from its origins, embracing a comprehensive vision of communication, content, and transactions.