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 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

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Elon Musk has said that he will stop using his cellphone and start taking calls through his social media platform X. 

In a post to the site, formerly known as Twitter, the billionaire said: ‘In a few months, I will discontinue 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-a-month X Premium subscription fee would then be able to call him. 

While all users on the platform can receive audio and video calls, only premium subscribers are able to make calls. 

The X Help Center states that ‘by default, you’re able to receive calls from accounts you follow or have in your address book.

‘To be able 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 using his phone in January 2020, would force people in to paying for a X premium subscription if he pushed ahead with his plan

Musk, seen here using his phone in January 2020, would force people in to paying for a X premium subscription if he pushed ahead with his plan 

In a post to the site, formerly known as Twitter, the billionaire said he would be moving away from his cell phone and discontinue his phone number

In a post to the site, formerly known as Twitter, the billionaire said he would be moving away from his cell phone and discontinue his phone number

Due to security limitations, app researcher Nima Owji told Gizmodo that Musk’s plan to ditch his phone – even for text messages – isn’t realistic. 

Owji said that SMS confirmation codes, mostly used for two-factor authentication, are still a big part of online life and are used by platforms like WhatsApp.

She said: ‘X can be used to make phone/video calls, but I think SMS is still an essential part of communication.’

As well as communications, the Musk has previously outlined his ambitions for financial services features on the platform. 

In a blog post last month, the company officially announced it would be launching a ‘peer-to-peer payments’ in 2024. 

This move into payments means X will be competing with a whole host of online payment platforms including PayPal, Venmo, Zelle and Apple Pay. 

Down the line, Musk’s plan is to turn X into a company that can replace banks – a platform not just for making payments, but getting loans and trading shares.

The payments option will be ‘unlocking more user utility and new opportunities for commerce, and showcasing the power of living more of your life in one place,’ the blog read.

The company did not provide further detail as to when exactly the ‘peer-to-peer payments’ service would launch this year, information about 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 it would be launching a 'peer-to-peer payments' in 2024

In a blog post last month, the company officially announced it would be launching a ‘peer-to-peer payments’ in 2024

Musk previously said he wants ‘someone’s entire financial life’ to be on X, according to an audio of an October 26 company-wide meeting obtained by The Verge. 

‘If it involves money. It’ll be on our platform. Money or securities or whatever,’ he reportedly said. 

‘So, it’s not just like send $20 to my friend. I’m talking about, like, you won’t need a bank account.’

For places that do not accept X payments, Musk said consumers would get a debit card tied to their balance – and even traditional checks if they want them. 

It is familiar territory for Musk, who co-founded PayPal and was openly disappointed by eBay’s handling of the company when it was bought in 2002. The companies eventually split in 2015.

Speaking at an internal call last year, he said: ‘The X/PayPal product roadmap was written by myself and David Sacks actually in July of 2000.

‘And for some reason PayPal, once it 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 of 2000, so 23 years ago.’

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