Elon Musk told Twitter employees Monday he wants to add video and voice call features and secure direct-messaging to the social-media platform, according to a leaked recording of an all-hands meeting obtained by The Verge.
At the company’s San Francisco headquarters, Musk gave a presentation with slides entitled “Twitter 2.0.” He first used the term last Wednesday upon emailing staff an ultimatum to work “extremely hardcore” or be laid off.
The recording obtained by The Verge reveals some of Musk’s plans to update Twitter, including secure communication. Under the plans, DMs would be encrypted, meaning the text could only be read by participants, as is the case on platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal.
Musk added that he had spoken with the creator of Signal, Moxie Marlinspike, an ex-Twitter employee, who is “potentially willing to help out” with encrypting Twitter DMs.
“We want to enable users to be able to communicate without being concerned about their privacy,” Musk said, citing potential data breaches which could leak messages, or employees spying on users.
In August, an ex-employee was found guilty of spying after passing Twitter users’ information to Saudi Arabia, having been paid over $300,000 to do so.
Musk said: “It should be the case that I can’t look at anyone’s DMs if somebody has a gun to my head.”
He also added that he wanted to allow voice and video chat via DMs, a feature already available on Facebook and WhatsApp.
Musk explained how Twitter could allow for secure calls without having to give out your phone number, which is the case with Signal.
Replacing phone numbers with more-identifiable account usernames is a popular idea among tech circles. Musk last week echoed Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s support for such a concept.
all I want is to finally move off phone numbers as ID…— jack (@jack) November 15, 2022
It is unclear if the encrypted calls and messaging would be available to all users, or only as part of the $8-per-month Twitter Blue subscription.
The planned features could also be tied to Musk’s idea of “creating X, the everything app.” The world’s richest person bought the domain name “X.com” over five years ago, and has spoken about creating a “super-app” comparable to China’s WeChat.