X (formerly Twitter) CEO Linda Yaccarino confirmed today that video chat is coming to the platform. In an interview with CNBC’s Sara Eisen (via TechCrunch), Yaccarino said, “Soon you’ll be able to make video chat calls without having to give your phone number to anyone on the platform.” The move reflects Yaccarino and Musk’s mission to build X into an “everything app” that includes long-form videos, payments and creator subscriptions.
The announcement follows a slightly cryptic post this week from X designer Andrea Conway. “Just called someone on X,” she posted, followed by four exploding-head emojis. Although that post didn’t clarify whether it was voice or video calls, it now appears she was referring to the latter.
It isn’t clear how X video calls would fill a burning need for consumers: The crowded video-chat landscape already includes Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Apple FaceTime and more. But as Musk and Yaccarino try to reshape the company, they increasingly view the platform formerly known as Twitter as expanding far beyond tweets into a real-time town square for various media, communications and payments.
just called someone on X 🤯🤯🤯🤯
— Andrea Conway (@ehikian) August 9, 2023
“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,” Yaccarino said. “And I want to stop on that for a second because ‘in real time’ is what’s most important about the vibrancy of X and how people interact with it. And now it’s all in one seamless interface.”
One of the platform’s first moves into new areas was in long-form video. The company added a Twitter Blue perk in May that lets subscribers upload videos up to two hours long. Apple was an early adopter as it used the allotment to plug its series Silo by posting the entire first episode on the social platform. X also recently began paying content creators with enough of a following to generate income — with one user claiming to receive $24,000.
Yaccarino echoed the company’s previous comments about X as a payment platform. “Payments: There’s been a lot of talk about that,” she said. “Payments between you and a friend, between you and one of your creators. So there’s been a lot going on in the rebrand represented — really a liberation from Twitter. A liberation that allowed us to evolve past a legacy mindset and thinking and to reimagine how everyone, 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.”