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Elon Musk Says Twitter Soon to Allow Audio and Video Calls

Musk Twitter calls
Soon you can talk to people anywhere in the world without giving them your phone number, Elon Musk said. Credit: Thomas Hawk / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Elon Musk announced that Twitter will soon allow audio and video calls and encrypted messaging on the social media platform.

“Coming soon will be voice and video chat from your handle to anyone on this platform, so you can talk to people anywhere in the world without giving them your phone number,” Musk said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Twitter follows Meta on calls

The call feature on Twitter will bring the micro-blogging platform into line with the likes of Meta’s social media applications, Facebook and Instagram, which have similar features.

Musk, who has promised he will resign as Twitter’s chief executive officer when he finds someone “foolish enough to take the job”, said a version of encrypted direct messages will be available on Twitter starting Wednesday, but did not say if calls will be encrypted.

Encryption in messages means that only the sender and receiver are able to see a message. In theory, Twitter and Musk would not be able to see or intercept direct messages between people.

“The acid test is that I could not see your DMs even if there was a gun to my head,” Musk tweeted.

Encrypted messaging services have grown in popularity in the past few years as users focus more on privacy.

Last year, Musk flagged plans for “Twitter 2.0 The Everything App”, which he said would have features such as encrypted direct messages (DMs), long-form tweets and payments.

Since Twitter’s inception, the development of the direct messages feature hasn’t got much attention from previous CEOs. But Musk has signaled numerous times his intention to make Twitter into an “everything app” from messaging to financial services.

Twitter purges inactive accounts

On Monday, Musk announced that Twitter will remove accounts that have been inactive for several years saying that the action is “important to free up abandoned handles.”

Musk also said users on the micro-blogging platform could see a drop in follower count, as several inactive accounts might get removed.

According to Twitter’s policy, users should log in to their account at least once every 30 days to avoid permanent removal due to prolonged inactivity.

Earlier this month, Musk “threatened” to reassign National Public Radio’s Twitter account to another company, after the public broadcaster stopped posting content to its 52 official Twitter feeds in protest against a Twitter label that implied government involvement in its editorial content.

Twitter last month removed the legacy verified blue tick from the profiles of thousands of people, including celebrities, journalists and prominent politicians.

Musk has made account verification a part of Twitter’s Blue subscription, a move he said would tackle the issue of bot accounts on the social media platform.

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