What is X’s upcoming audio and video calling options are all about?
It is doubtful that this will be any surprise to anybody who has been paying attention to X’s push towards paying subscriptions over the past year.
What does TechCrunch’s news report on X’s upcoming audio and video calling features?
However, according to a new report from TechCrunch, X’s upcoming audio and video calling features are to be built into X DMs. It will be an X Premium feature only, meaning that you will have to pay to use either option in the app.
X’s soon-to-be-released audio and video calling options will be accessible via your inbox. These options will enable you to connect with people via the app quickly.
X has shared various details on the coming additions. It includes at its Client Council meeting last week. But it has yet to be confirmed whether it will be available to everyone or only to paying users.
Now, detail in the back-end code of the app seems to confirm this, with lines noting that “audio and video calls are a premium feature.” These options are related to error messages that non-subscribers will likely get if they try to make a call in the app.
It is, again, a small surprise. The X team has been adding more enticements for people to take up X Premium subscriptions in the hopes of both expanding its revenue potential and combating bots and spam in the app.
What ‘X’ has recently noted about paid subscriptions?
X owner Elon Musk recently noted that pushing users towards paid subscriptions is the only way to combat vast armies of bots, as getting more users to pay, even if it’s just a small amount per month, will make it much more expensive for bot farms to operate.
The problem with that is that it requires mass take-up to be effective. In order to make this a disincentive for bot peddlers, the vast majority of X users would need to be verified, and it would then mean that most non-paying, non-verified accounts are likely bots.
But thus far, less than 0.5% of X users have signed on to the program, so it has a way to go to make this effective in this sense.
Musk has also said that X will soon add another cheaper payment tier for its verification program. It could prompt more sign-ups, while speculation remains that Musk could eventually force all users to pay for X access at some stage.
It would likely be a damaging move, especially at such low rates of take-up for the program at this stage. If X can sweeten the deal and convince more people to pay to use the app, it could still become a viable anti-bot measure and a full pay gate pathway for the app at some stage.
Adding audio and video calls may help in this respect, though people have gotten by without these features in the app thus far, so it is not likely to be an essential offering by any means.
But at the same time, X needs to try more things. And given that this is the first time anyone else has solved the social platform bot problem, who can give a proper solution to that?
Lots of people are of the opinion that Elon is not right and that this is not the way to go on this front.
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