X, the social network that was previously known to the world as Twitter, has a new feature. The app, which previously limited text messages posted to the service to just 140 characters in length now allows its users to make and receive calls.
Those new X calls can be placed in either audio or video form with the whole interface living within the Direct Message portion of the X app on the iPhone. The same feature is also going to come to those who use Android phones but X hasn't yet confirmed exactly when that will be. The same goes for the web and X's desktop apps, too.
The new calling feature was teased previously by X owner and ex-CEO Elon Musk without any firm timeframe given. Now, it's here.
Calling, free to all
When Musk confirmed that he wanted X to offer calls it wasn't clear whether it would be a feature that would require people to be X Premium subscribers in order to use it. However, it's now confirmed that isn't the case and the calling feature is available to all who want it.
Thankfully, there are ways to disable it or at least limit who can call you if you'd prefer to opt-out. In a support document posted to its website X details the privacy controls it offers.
Thankfully, the whole calling feature can be disabled if the user wishes, which is good news. However, those who would like to use it still have some control over who can contact them. They can choose to only allow calls from people in their address book, people they follow, or verified users.
There's no denying that X is now firmly in competition with the likes of WhatsApp and even Apple's own FaceTime. Musk has also hinted that he wants X to replace banks as well, allowing people to keep their money with the social network and then use its payment system to spend it. That seems a long way away, but given Musk's history in payment tech it isn't beyond the realms of possibility that he might make it happen. After all, the original x.com was a bank co-founded by Musk.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.