X, formerly known as Twitter, has not yet run out of updates and tweaks this year. This may be a step towards Elon Musk’s goal of making the platform the “everything app.” From this year’s rebranding to interface and workforce changes, the social media app has launched yet another change.
Audio and video calls
Some users can now use audio and video calls within the app. Musk has stated that this is an “early version of video and audio calling on X,” so this option is only available for iOS users. Premium accounts can also access this feature through the settings.
The option to enable audio and video calling on X is under the Privacy and Safety option for Direct Messages. Simply go to Direct Messages, select the user you want to call and tap on the phone icon on the upper right side. Users may disable this feature by toggling off the Enable Audio and Video Calling settings.
Combatting spam messages
The platform is also testing its Not A Bot program with users from the Philippines and New Zealand. Currently, new X users need to shell out $1 per year to enjoy the platform, which is payable upon signing up. The social media company offered no explanation as to why it had chosen the Philippines and New Zealand for the test. We can only assume it’s due to the amount of fake accounts in both countries.
The platform believes that the Not A Bot program is a way to combat dummy and bot accounts. Fake accounts are often used to spam messages on platforms like X; in most cases, they’re used to share wrong or fake news with other users. Bots are prevalent, and unfortunately, the Philippines and New Zealand have experienced a rise in fake accounts and news over the past few years.
LOOK: Social media platform X, formerly Twitter, announces that it is testing a new program in the Philippines and New Zealand wherein new unverified accounts will be required to sign up for a $1 (P42.51) annual subscription starting October 17.
This is to "combat bots and… pic.twitter.com/FcKDpQkQ2b
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) October 18, 2023
According to a survey by Statista, about 40% of Filipinos reported to have seen wrong information whether it be on TV, radio, or social media. Meanwhile, another survey in New Zealand saw eight out of 10 Kiwis stating that they saw fake news on social media. With 11.80 million X users from the Philippines and 791,700 users from New Zealand as of 2023, we’ve yet to see how the newly paid subscription plan for X will unfold.
While these changes will not affect the existing users, new users who don’t pay the $1 sign-up charge will not be able to share posts. New users will only have a read-only function; that means they can only read posts, watch videos, and follow accounts. As of this writing, the feature is still in the testing stage for the countries mentioned above. Whether this change will be applied worldwide remains unclear.
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Yang Miao. The screenshot in the body of the article has been taken by the author for TechAcute.
Sources: Elon Musk (Twitter) / Cliff Venzon (Nikkei Asia) / Colin Peacock (RNZ) / Statista / NetSafe / DataReportal / DataReportal