Social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has initiated a trial in New Zealand and the Philippines, where new users are required to pay an annual fee of $1 (or £0.82) to access certain key features, including the ability to tweet, retweet, like posts, and reply to posts.
Those who choose not to subscribe will only have the option to read posts, watch videos, and follow accounts. This move is aimed at reducing spam, manipulation, and bot activity on the platform.
New users must also verify their phone numbers during the account creation process. Elon Musk, the CEO of X, has emphasized that creating “read-only” accounts without key features will remain free.
Elon Musk, who purchased Twitter for $44 billion, has been exploring ways to address the issue of bots on the platform. He believes that even a minor payment can deter bots, as the cost to operate them would become significantly higher.
In addition to the $1 subscription for basic features, X also offers an enhanced service called X Premium, available to paid subscribers, which includes additional features such as longer posts and increased visibility on the platform.
The price of X Premium varies by country, with the current cost being $8 per month in the United States.
While this move has financial implications, with the potential to increase revenue, it also carries the risk of losing a portion of the user base, which could impact advertising revenue, the primary income source for the platform.
X has recently faced scrutiny from the European Union for content related to terrorism, violence, and hate speech, as well as fines from Australia’s internet safety watchdog regarding cooperation in investigations of anti-child abuse practices.
In Which Countries X Starts Charging $1?
Elon Musk announced that, in an effort to combat bots, new users on the platform formerly known as Twitter, now called X, will be required to pay $1 per year to post while reading posts remains free. The company is initially testing this program in New Zealand and the Philippines before a global rollout.
X will mandate a $1 fee for account creation for new users in New Zealand and the Philippines.
Elon Musk emphasized, “Read for free, but $1/year to write. It’s the only way to fight bots without blocking real users,” and stated that this measure would make it significantly more difficult for bots to manipulate the platform.
X’s motivation for this change is to address bot-related issues and will begin with pilot testing in these two countries.
This initiative is part of the “Not A Bot” program, aimed at enhancing anti-spam efforts and countering bot activity on the platform.
New users who choose not to subscribe will have limited interactions, restricted to viewing posts and watching videos.
It’s worth noting that X will still offer its primary subscription service at $8 per month for verified users.
Additionally, X is considering a three-tiered premium subscription model, including different plans, which could lead to increased revenue and profitability by 2024.
The Basic plan won’t reduce ad frequency; the Standard plan will show fewer ads and the top-tier Plus offering will eliminate ads, potentially costing more than $8 per month.