Yesterday we broke the news that WhatsApp is working on a new Business Directory feature in Brazil, which will also include a payments and purchases platform. The move brings WhatsApp a step closer to being an everything app, which is something Elon Musk has long spoken about, with his idea gaining prominence again following his purchase of Twitter. Well today, it looks as though Musk is indeed trying to turn Twitter into an everything app as he has confirmed that he will be copying some of WhatsApp’s most fundamental features into the app. Let’s take a look.
First and foremost, Musk has confirmed that Twitter is working on a way to encrypt direct messages, which is a feature that is already well-known on WhatsApp.
According to The Verge, in a presentation called Twitter 2.0, Musk told the reduced Twitter workforce that the company would be introducing a series of new features:
“We want to enable users to be able to communicate without being concerned about their privacy, [or] without being concerned about a data breach at Twitter causing all of their DMs to hit the web, or think that maybe someone at Twitter could be spying on their DMs […] That’s obviously not going to be cool and it has happened a few times before.”
Although the move will attract headlines for replicating WhatsApp’s famous end-to-end encryption, in his speech Musk referred to a real event that took place in 2018 that saw roughly 1% of all Twitter users have some of their messages leaked to some third-party programmers. With this in mind, referring to himself, Musk has said that “[even] I can’t look at anyone’s DMs if somebody has put a gun to my head.”
The other key features that Musk seems to be pushing for are voice and video calls. Again, introducing these will bring added utility to the micro-blogging social media company, which will bring it one step closer to becoming an everything app. Clearly, it will still have some catching up to do with WhatsApp. With Musk’s drive for agility and speed at Twitter HQ, however, we wouldn’t put it past him just yet.