Elon Musk says he’s going to ditch his phone and only make calls and texts through X – where some users with $8-a-month premium subscription can call him
Elon Musk said he will stop using his cell phone and start taking calls through his social media platform X.
In a post on the site, formerly known as Twitter, the billionaire said: ‘In a few months I will retire my phone number and only use X for texts and audio/video calls.’
If Musk does go through with the plan, some users who pay the $8-per-month X Premium subscription fee will then be able to call him.
While all users on the platform can receive audio and video calls, only premium subscribers can make calls.
The X Help Center states that ‘by default you can receive calls from accounts you follow or have in your address book.
‘In order to call another user, they must have sent you a direct message at least once before.’
In Musk’s case, at least 536 people he follows, if they have a premium subscription, would be able to call him. The billionaire has 171.9 million followers.
Musk, seen here with his phone in January 2020, will force people to pay for an X premium subscription if he goes ahead with his plan
In a post on the site, formerly known as Twitter, the billionaire said he would move away from his mobile phone and retire his phone number
Due to security restrictions, app researcher Nima Owji said Gizmodo that Musk’s plan to ditch his phone — even for texting — isn’t realistic.
Owji said SMS verification codes, mostly used for two-factor authentication, are still a big part of online life and are used by platforms like WhatsApp.
He said: ‘X can be used to make phone/video calls, but I think texting is still an essential part of communication.’
As well as communications, Musk has previously outlined his ambitions for financial services functions on the platform.
In a blog post last month, the company officially announced that it will start a “peer-to-peer payments” in 2024.
This move into payments means X will compete with a whole host of online payment platforms, including PayPal, Venmo, Zelle and Apple Pay.
Musk’s plan is to turn X into a company that can replace banks — a platform not just for making payments, but for getting loans and trading stocks.
The payment option will “unlock more user utility and new opportunities for commerce, showcasing the power of living more of your life in one place,” the blog said.
The company did not provide further details on when exactly the peer-to-peer payments service will launch this year, information on how the transactions might work, or any plans for other financial features on the platform.
In a blog post last month, the company officially announced that it will launch a ‘peer-to-peer payments’ in 2024.
Musk previously said he wanted “someone’s entire financial life” to be on X, according to audio of an Oct. 26 company-wide meeting obtained by The Edge.
‘If it involves money. It will be on our platform. Money or securities or whatever,’ he reportedly said.
“So, it’s not just like sending $20 to my friend. I’m talking about, like, you won’t need a bank account.’
For places that don’t accept X payments, Musk said consumers will get a debit card linked to their balance — and even traditional checks if they want them.
This is familiar territory for Musk, who co-founded PayPal and was openly disappointed with eBay’s handling of the company when it was bought in 2002. The companies eventually split in 2015.
Speaking on an internal call last year, he said: ‘The X/PayPal product roadmap was actually written in July 2000 by myself and David Sacks.
‘And for some reason, once PayPal became eBay, not only did they not implement the rest of the list, but they actually rolled back a bunch of key features, which is crazy.
‘So PayPal is actually a less complete product than what we came up with in July 2000, so 23 years ago.’