X wants to try and topple Zoom and Microsoft Teams by offering audio and video calls

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Troubled social media empire X is looking to offer audio and video conferencing calling capabilities to users in an effort to recover falling customer numbers.

The new tools have been rolled out to iOS users after first being announced in August 2023, with Android users also set to receive the "update" soon.

The company, formerly known as Twitter, has announced the new features as part of owner Elon Musk's plans to turn X into an "everything app," providing all the services a user might need all in one place.

X audio and video calls

Only X Premium subscribers, who currently pay $8 a month or $84 a year for the privilege, will be able to make audio and video calls, but any X user is able to receive calls.

Users will be able to control who can call them via the Direct Messages settings, but by default will be able to receive calls from accounts you follow or have in your address book (if you’ve allowed X that access). In order to call another user, they must have sent you a Direct Message at least once before.

Fortunately, X has given users the option to disable video calls, keeping you safe from a deluge of spam (or worse). In order to do so, head to the Direct Message settings screen by clicking the envelope icon in the lower right corner of the X app, then tapping the gear icon in the upper right corner to open Messages settings, where the option to turn video calling off should appear.

The move will see X competing not just with the smartphone giants - Apple, Samsung, and Google - but also with video calling staples such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.

It's doubtful, though, that X will be able to match the quality or features of its bigger video call rivals, which offer the likes of virtual backgrounds, avatars, and real-time translation. But we could see the value of using the platform to make a quick call to friends in an emergency - if every other service and the local phone networks go down.

Via The Register

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Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.