X, formerly Twitter, has unveiled audio and video calling features for its Android user base. The roll-out, first announced back in May 2023, commenced following an update shared by engineer @enriquebrgn, who is part of the project's development team. This move follows the iOS version's integration of similar capabilities last October.
Tiered Access to Features
X offers three distinct subscription levels: Basic, Premium, and Premium+. The availability of specific features, including the newly launched audio and video calls, varies depending on the subscription tier. Moreover, while all users can receive calls, initiating these calls is exclusive to those with a Premium account, which costs $8 per month. The other tiers, Basic and Premium+, are priced at $3 and $16 monthly and were introduced some months prior. Along with call capabilities, Premium subscribers also benefit from a range of additional features, including the coveted blue checkmark, a share in ad revenues, more extended video upload capacity, post editing rights, and access to the xAI chatbot named Grok.
Making Calls on X
To engage in an audio or video call on X, a user must first have exchanged text messages with the person they wish to call. It's also imperative for users to have push notifications active to ensure they're alerted to incoming calls. By default, the calls operate on a peer-to-peer basis, but users who prioritize privacy can opt for Enhanced Call Privacy. This setting routes the call traffic via X's infrastructure, effectively masking their IP address in the process.
In terms of operational functionality, Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, along with indications from leaked app code, hinted at the forthcoming communication features. The official support document for X details how an audio or video call can be started from either an existing Direct Messages (DM) conversation or a new interaction within the app. Users may also personalize their DM settings to control who can initiate a call with them, thereby ensuring a secure and controlled communication environment.
The addition of audio and video calling represents X's commitment to expanding its service offerings, providing users with a richer social media experience. The feature is accessible to Android users worldwide upon updating their application to the latest version.