Elon Musk Brings radical Changes to Twitter – Voice and Video Calls to be added
Elon Musk continued his transformations at Twitter with another major announcement – the introduction of voice and video calls within the platform. This marks yet another bold step by the new owner to transition Twitter beyond simple text-based messaging.
Voice Calls on Twitter – A First for a Major Social Media Platform
In a series of tweets yesterday, Musk stated that Twitter will soon roll out end-to-end encrypted voice and video calls for all users. This would allow people to have live conversations directly through their Twitter profiles, without needing any other separate apps.
If successfully implemented, this would mark the first time a major social network has integrated live audio/video conversations directly into its core functionality. Other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat offer such features through separate standalone apps or additional integrations.
Big Tech Privacy Changes Inbound
In another significant announcement, Musk said Twitter is working towards enabling end-to-end encrypted direct messages as well. This implies encrypted, password protected DMs that even Twitter itself cannot access – a major step up in privacy from today.
Some experts have raised concerns around anonymized harassment and spread of misinformation being far more difficult to curb if direct messages are encrypted. However, proponents of privacy argue this is a necessary move in the era of mass surveillance.
Legacy of Previous Failed Attempts
While ambitious, Musk and Twitter face an uphill task to successfully implement these social communication features at scale. Past attempts by giants like Google, Facebook and Microsoft to roll out universal cross-platform voice/video failed to gain traction due to complex technical and user experience challenges.
Twitter Spaces, the company’s audio chat feature launched in 2020, has struggled to achieve meaningful usage despite years of development. Integrating such experiences seamlessly within the core Twitter flow without disrupting existing behaviors will be a feat in itself.
Translating Twitter’s 272 million daily users to an entirely new medium like real-time voice is a monumental product challenge. It remains to be seen if the new Twitter under Musk’s leadership can overcome the barriers that defeated prior attempts. Significant investments and long-term commitment will be required to realize this vision.
User Reactions Range from Optimism to Skepticism
Initial reactions from Twitter users have been mixed in response to Musk’s latest moves. Supporters see it as an innovative step that can help the platform evolve into an all-encompassing social network. However, many in the tech community expressed doubts over the technical and product complexities involved.
Privacy advocates were cautiously optimistic about encryption while also raising concerns on how Twitter plans to balance safety, trust and user agency going forward under the new policies.
The days ahead promise to be intriguing as Elon Musk continues his mercurial leadership of Twitter – upending conventions while also facing challenges in fulfilling his grand visions for the platform. Only time will tell if these radical shifts will pay off or end up as yet another ambitious social media experiment that floundered.